Portrait of Lexington

Media - 1980.137.93 - SAAM-1980.137.93_1 - 73262
Copied Thomas J. Scott, Portrait of Lexington, ca. 1857, oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard, sight 24 1834 38 in. (61.387.4 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection, 1980.137.93
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Artwork Details

Portrait of Lexington
ca. 1857
sight 24 1834 38 in. (61.387.4 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection
Mediums Description
oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard
  • Animal — horse
  • Animal — portrait — Lexington
Object Number

Artwork Description

The famous racehorse Lexington was born in Kentucky in 1850 and went on to sire more winning horses than any other American thoroughbred before or since. Thomas J. Scott painted this image while living in Kentucky in the 1850s, when Lexington was at his peak. In an article for Turf, Field and Farm, Scott described the stallion's impressive stature: "Lexington was without a peer . . . fifteen hands three inches in height, of very extreme width from the point of one shoulder to the other, broad shoulder blades . . . Lexington came as near to being all horse and no ounce of surplus as one could imagine" (Hervey, Racing in America, 1944). The rich tones in this image emphasize the thoroughbred's glossy coat and lean, prize-winning form.