Three-Way Portrait of Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Unidentified Native American (William McIntosh?)

  • Unidentified, Three-Way Portrait of Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Unidentified Native American (William McIntosh?), early 19th century, oil on wood and canvas strips, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. James E. D. Graham and Mr. Thomas E. Dashiell, 1967.90.1

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An unknown artist combined three portraits to form this "slat" or three-way painting. He painted images of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) and James Monroe (1758-1831) back-to-back, divided the canvas into thirty-six strips, and then placed the pieces vertically across a third painting. The three portraits reveal themselves one after the other as the viewer changes position. The identity of the man in the third painting is unclear, but he may be the Coweta chief William McIntosh (1785-1825), who was actively involved in issues of Native American land ownership during Monroe's presidency. By placing McIntosh at the center of the work, the artist suggested he was on equal footing with the two presidents, despite being a generation younger. (O'Malley, "The History and Conservation of an Early 19th-Century Slat Painting," presented at the WAAC annual meeting, 1992)
Title
Three-Way Portrait of Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Unidentified Native American (William McIntosh?)
Artist
Date
early 19th century
Location
Dimensions
34 x 29 1/4 x 1 3/4 in. (86.3 x 74.3 x 4.5 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. James E. D. Graham and Mr. Thomas E. Dashiell

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on wood and canvas strips
Classifications
Keywords
  • Ethnic – Indian
  • Portrait male – unidentified – bust
  • Portrait male – Monroe, James – bust
Object Number
1967.90.1
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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