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Catalog Data

Artist:
John Vanderlyn, 1776 - 1852  Search this
Sitter:
James Monroe, 28 Apr 1758 - 4 Jul 1831  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Stretcher: 67.3 × 57.2cm (26 1/2 × 22 1/2")
Frame (Verified): 87 x 78.1 x 10.2cm (34 1/4 x 30 3/4 x 4")
Type:
Painting
Date:
1816
Exhibition Label:
Fifth president, 1817–1825
James Monroe continued the Virginia dynasty of Democratic-Republican presidents that had been interrupted only by the tenure of John Adams. As one of the last Founding Fathers to remain politically active in 1820, most people considered him to be unopposed in his bid for a second term. His success reflected the Era of Good Feelings—the period following the War of 1812 that was marked by the temporary suspension of two-party factionalism. The Monroe Doctrine, the enduring legacy of his administration, articulated opposition to European meddling in the Western Hemisphere and became a keystone of American foreign policy. When Monroe was first elected, in 1816, the majority of voters did not know what he looked like. His friend John Vanderlyn, who had recently returned from studying art in Paris, painted two portraits of him. Monroe gave one to his friend James Madison and kept this one. With the careful rendering of Monroe’s features, the highly finished surface, and the clarity of lighting, Vanderlyn’s painting exemplifies the French neoclassical style that was prevalent at the time. The image was quickly engraved for public dissemination.
5o presidente, 1817–1825
James Monroe continuó la dinastía virginiana de presidentes demócratas-republicanos interrumpida por la administración de John Adams. Por ser unode los últimos Padres Fundadores que permanecían políticamente activos en 1820, casi todo el mundo creía que no tendría oposición en su postulación para un segundo término presidencial. Su éxito reflejó la “era de la concordia”, el período que siguió a la Guerra de 1812, marcado por la suspension provisional del faccionalismo partidista. El legado perdurable de su administración fue la Doctrina Monroe, que articulaba la oposición a la interferencia europea en el hemisferio occidental y se convirtió en piedra angular de la política exterior estadounidense. Cuando Monroe fue electo por primera vez, en 1816, la mayoría de los votantes no conocían su rostro. Su amigo John Vanderlyn —quien regresaba de estudiar arte en París— pintó dos retratos suyos. Monroe le obsequió uno a su amigo James Madison y conservó este. Con su cuidado trazo de los rasgos de Monroe, su pulida superficie y abundante luz, la pintura de Vanderlyn ejemplifica el estilo neoclásico francés prevaleciente en aquel momento. La imagen se reprodujo pronto en grabado para difundirse entre el público.
Provenance:
Emily C. Johnson, Frederick, Maryland, descendant of Monroe; sold 1970 to NPG.
Topic:
James Monroe: Male  Search this
James Monroe: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer  Search this
James Monroe: Politics and Government\State Legislator\Virginia  Search this
James Monroe: Military\Army\Officer\Revolution  Search this
James Monroe: Politics and Government\Congressman\Continental  Search this
James Monroe: Politics and Government\Cabinet Member\Secretary of War  Search this
James Monroe: Military\Army\Officer\Captain  Search this
James Monroe: Politics and Government\President of US  Search this
James Monroe: Education\Administrator\University\Trustee  Search this
James Monroe: Politics and Government\Cabinet Member\Secretary of State  Search this
James Monroe: Politics and Government\Diplomat\Minister  Search this
James Monroe: Politics and Government\Governor\Virginia  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.70.59
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition:
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View:
NPG, South Gallery 240
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.70.59