The Painter's Chair by Hugh Howard
George Washington and the Making of American Art

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"I am so hackneyed to the touches of the painters pencil, that I am now altogether at their beck ... no dray moves more readily to the Thill, than I do to the Painters Chair." -
George Washington, 16, 1785

When George Washington was born, the New World had virtually no artists. Over the course of his life, a cultural transformation would occur. Virtually everyone regarded Washington as America's indispensable man, and the early painters and sculptors were no exception. Hugh Howard surveys the founding fathers of American painting through their portraits of Washington. Charles Willson Peale was the comrade-in-arms, John Trumbull the aristocrat, Benjamin West the mentor, and Gilbert Stuart the brilliant wastrel. Their images of Washington fed an immense popular appetite that has never faded, Stuart's image endures today on the $1 bill. The Painter's Chair is an eloquent narrative of how America's first painters toiled to create an art worthy of the new republic, and the hero whom they turned into an icon.

About Hugh Howard

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Hugh Howard's numerous books include the definitive Thomas Jefferson, Architect; his memoir House-Dreams; the essay collection The Preservationist's Progress; and an introduction to the architecture of Williamsburg, Colonial Houses. He resides in upstate New York with his wife, writer Elizabeth Lawrence, and their two teenage daughters.
Published July 1, 2009 by Bloomsbury Press. 320 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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The American-born John Trumbull, Edward Savage, Gilbert Stuart, Charles Willson Peale and his son Rembrandt all benefited from the early example of Boston’s John Smibert and his Painting Room, and the training most received at the London studio of expatriate Benjamin West, “the American Raphael.”...

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