Say, look at this guy. His name is James Madison, he of the Virginia state legislature, the Philadelphia Convention, the Federalist Papers, the founding of the Democratic-Republican party, and, oh yes, the fourth President of the United States. When Gilbert Stuart painted this 1804 portrait, Madison was Thomas Jefferson's Secretary of State and had just supervised the Louisiana Purchase. Eight years into the future, on on June 18, 1812, then-President Madison would declare war on the British Empire. Which leads us to this image gallery from the exhibition 1812: A Nation Emerges. Please enjoy the featured works; this is a rare instance where the pictures are available long before the show closes ... and only then because I left myself sticky notes all over the teetering tons of art-historic stuff stacked on my desk. For once.
Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755-1828)
James Madison, 1804
Oil on canvas
29 1/2 x 24 9/16 in. (74.9 x 62.4 cm)
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation