Georges Clemenceau

  • Cecilia Beaux, Georges Clemenceau, 1920, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the National Art Committee, 1923.6.5

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The United States War Portraits Commission hired Cecilia Beaux to paint this portrait of Georges Clemenceau, the premier of France who signed the World War I peace treaty at Versailles in 1919. Clemenceau hated having his portrait made, so Beaux prepared her composition from photographs and sketches while she waited for his return from a trip to the Middle East. She wrote: "Now I am after the most illusive and 'orneriest' of them all, and dear knows when I shall catch him . . ." Beaux finally went to his house for one sitting and from an oil sketch created this portrait of the statesman, standing in his study behind a desk with books and papers.

Luce Object Quote
"I have made a sketch for the Clemenceau portrait and have it fully in mind." Cecilia Beaux letter, in Tappert, Cecilia Beaux and the Art of Portraiture, 1995
Georges Clemenceau
46 7/8 x 36 3/4 in. (119.2 x 93.3 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the National Art Committee

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Occupation – political – statesman
  • Portrait male – Clemenceau, Georges
Object Number
Linked Open Data
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