Oil on canvas; 36 x 27 in. (91.4 x 68.6 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.
George Washington, c. 1782
In a land where horsemanship was often men’s touchiest point of pride, Jefferson had to admit he never saw Washington’s like for grace and control in the saddle. A froniter runner and Indian wrestler — his friend George Mercer described his frame as
padded with well-developed muscles — Washington had by 1774 refined mere energy down to a grace of least movement, the higher athleticism of the dance. And he danced well.