Alexander Hamilton

by Charles Willson Peale (1741—1827)

Oil on canvas; H 24 in. x W 20 in.

by Charles Willson Peale (1741—1827)

Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, New York, NY.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas. Jointly shared by The Metropolitan Museum, New York, NY and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas; 76.2 x 60.5 cm (30 x 23 13/16 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas; 30 3/4 x 24 3/4 in. (78.1 x 62.9 cm.) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas; 30 1/2 x 25 1/2 in. (77.5 x 64.8 cm). New-York Historical Society, New York, NY.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas. City Hall Portrait Collection, New York, NY.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas. 77.79 x 62.55 cm • 30 5/8 x 24 5/8 in. National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian), Washington, DC.

by Giuseppe Ceracchi (1751—1801)

White marble; 9 1/4 x 19 1/2 x 13 in., 87 lb. (23.5 x 49.5 x 33 cm, 39.5 kg). New-York Historical Society, New York, NY.

by James Sharples (c. 1751—1811)

Pastel on paper. Independence National Historical Park, Portrait Collection (Second Bank of the United States), Philadelphia, PA.

The Revolutionary leaders never intended to create an original and peculiar indigenous culture. Despite all their talk of American exceptionalism and American virtue in contrast with European corruption, they were seeking not to cut themselves off from Europe’s cultural heritage but to embrace it and in fact to fulfill it. It is a mistake to view America’s post-Revolutionary emulation of Europe as a legacy of helpless dependence passed on from colonial days. Americans imitated European styles and forms not because in their naïveté they could nothing else but because they wanted to.... Their revolution was very much an international affair, an attempt to fulfill the cosmopolitan dreams of the Enlightenment.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)