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The painting in the foreground is known as the "Lansdowne Portrait" of George Washington, and is regarded as the most famous painting of the first President of the United States. It was a replica of this painting that Dolley Madison saved from an about to be torched White House during the War of 1812.
This painting is known as the Lansdowne Portrait because it was painted for the Marquess of Lansdowne (who was also the Prime Minister of Great Britain) in 1796 by renowned American portraitist Gilbert Stuart. This painting was so popular Stuart was asked to paint a replica of it for the White House, and that is the painting Dolley Madison saved from the British (which is ironic when you consider who the original was painted for).
In 2001, The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation paid $30 million for the painting, and gave it to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., where it is on prominent display as the museum's most famous (and expensive) painting.
The National Portrait Gallery, which is owned by the Smithsonian and is housed in the same building as the America Art Museum, has the largest public collection of Presidential portraits in America (the White House and the United States Capitol has larger collections of Presidential portraits, but a public tour of either building is limited to certain rooms and the vast majority of these paintings are rarely seen by the general public).
May 29th, 2013
Viewed 1 Time - Last Visitor from Livingston Manor, NY on 11/03/2013 at 1:44 AM