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

Thursday, November 2, 2017

George Washington

 G. WASHINGTON in his last illness attended by Doc.rs Craik and Brown
Americans behold & shed a grateful tear
For a man who has gained yo.r freedom most dear
And now is departing unto the realms above
Where he may ever rest in lasting peace & love

This 1800 hand water colored etching of “Washington in his last illness” by an unknown artist hangs in the Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
“American engravers enjoyed a steady market in the late eighteenth century with the booming demand for illustrations and popular prints. Following the Revolutionary War, George Washington’s status as a national icon spurred the fledgling industry into supplying inexpensive portraits to meet public demand. Washington’s death on December 14, 1799, would prompt an outpouring of oratorical and pictorial tributes. This deathbed scene, which alludes to published accounts of the president’s final moments, shows a physician taking Washington’s pulse with the aid of a stopwatch. Americans purchased souvenir handkerchiefs that featured this image on one side and a complementary mourning picture on the other.” – National Portrait Gallery
Dr Craik, or is it Brown?, looks on:

While Dr Brown, or is it Craik?, takes the former presidents pulse:

Martha Washington sits nearby looking over a variety of  medicines including a bottle of port.

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