Oil on canvas. 121.28 x 93.98 cm • 47 3/4 x 37 in. National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian), Washington, DC; jointly owned with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.
George Washington (The Athenaeum Portrait), 1796
The most inadvertently prophetic words that Adams ever uttered were his last:
Thomas Jefferson survives. For it was the Jeffersonian image that broke free of the aggregated anonymity,
the founders or
the fathers, and eventually ascended into heaven with Washington. During the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Jeffersonian legacy became the most adaptable and all-purpose political touchstone in American political history.