"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Andrew Jackson

This 1835 plaster bust of Andrew Jackson by Hiram Powers is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in Washington; DC.
"Powers portrayed President Jackson in a Greek toga, but showed his rugged features faithfully, reflecting both the fashion for classical sculpture and the American taste for an authentic like­ness. He worried that Jackson looked as though he 'had put his teeth aside,' but was proud to have captured the hero's 'firmness and inflexibility of character.' Jackson sat patiently for his portrait, chatting with Powers and Smoking a pipe that he later gave to the sculptor as a Souvenir. In 1835, when this portrait was modeled, Jackson was planning to transform Washington from a swampy town to an impressive, Neoclassical capital that would reflect the nation's ambitions. The very next year, the president laid the cornerstone for the Patent Office Building, in which this sculpture appears today." -- Smithsonian American Art Museum

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