Monday, January 16, 2012

Molti Ritratti: Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), seventh president of the United States (1829-1837), lived just long enough to have had a few photographic portraits taken. For most of his life his image had to be recorded by various artists, which is the point of this continuing Molti Ritratti (many portraits) series.

Let's begin at the end with a couple of those late-in-life photographs.

From 1844-45

From 1845

The second image appears to be retouched, assuming that the top image and another I found via Google are representative of the quality of the time.

Now let's have the painters have their say:


By Samuel Lovett Waldo - 1817; black & white image of a painting
This strikes me as one of the better images of Jackson. Note to self: find some information on Waldo.

By Ralph E.W. Earl - 1817
Apparently Earl and Jackson were friends, and he did several portraits of his subject over the years.

By Thomas Sully - 1824
Thomas Sully, perhaps the best portrait painter in America in his day, also did several paintings of Jackson. The color on this image was altered digitally by someone who didn't seem to like an equally oddly colored version on a Wikipedia site.

By Asher Durand - 1835
Durand was another competent portraitist of the first half of the 19th century in America.

By Ralph E.W. Earl - 1837
Another version of Jackson by Earl, who wasn't in the same league as Sully and Durand. This portrait strikes me as being too abstracted from what the painter actually saw; could it have been done from memory?

By Thomas Sully - 1845
This Sully painting was done shortly after Jackson's death. It might be strictly from memory or perhaps the artist relied on his earlier sketches and paintings of the former president. Regardless, this is the image of Jackson most familiar to Americans because it served as the basis for the engraved portrait on ten dollars bills.

1 comment:

Selina said...

I think you meant $20 bill? :)