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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Zachary Taylor

The People's Choice for 12th President

This 1848 hand-colored lithograph  of Zachary Taylor by Nathaniel Currier hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.
"People's Choice Twelfth President

Politics was one of the great pastimes and organizing principles of nineteenth-century America. Electoral turnout was usually high, and political campaigns used increasingly sophisticated visual and written materials to excite the public. There was also a market for patriotic political memorabilia such as this print, which links the new president, Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), with his predecessors, who surround him like a historical garland. Interestingly, Taylor is depicted in his military uniform, a reference to the success in the Mexican War that made him the 1848 Whig Party standard-bearer and the twelfth president. Perhaps there were no images of Taylor, a career military man, in civilian dress: presidents are forbidden to wear a military uniform once in office." -- National Portrait  Gallery

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