By Hugh Howard. ISBN-13: 978-1-59691-244-1. Copyright 2009. Hardcover with 297 pages including notes, bibliography, and index, plus 16 pages of glossy color photographs.
When George Washington was born, the New World had almost no artists. Over the course of his life, a cultural transformation took place; The American people developed an appetite for visual art, portraiture in particular. America’s first painters toiled to create art worthy of the new republic, and of its hero George Washington.
The narrative traces Washington’s interaction with the founding fathers of American painting, Charles Willson Peale, the comrade-in-arms; John Trumbull, the aristocrat; Benjamin West, the mentor; and Gilbert Stuart, the brilliant wastrel and most gifted painter of his day.