James Madison

by Charles Willson Peale (1741—1827)

Watercolor on ivory. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

Madison at age 32.

by Charles Willson Peale (1741—1827)

Oil on canvas; framed: 36 1/8 × 31 3/4 × 3 5/8 in. (91.8 × 80.6 × 9.2 cm). Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK.

by James Sharples (c. 1751—1811)

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

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; 29.5 in. x 24.63 in. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Colonial Williamsburg, VA.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; height: height: 123.19 cm (48.5 in), width: 100.97 cm (39.75 in). Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on wood; 65.3 x 54.3 cm (25 11/16 x 21 3/8 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

by John Vanderlyn (1775—1852)

Oil on canvas. The White House Collection, Washington, DC.

by Chester Harding (1792—1866)

Oil on canvas. On display at Montpelier, Orange, VA; courtesy of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA.

by Asher Brown Durand (1796—1886)

Oil on canvas; 24 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. ( 61.6 x 51.4 cm). New-York Historical Society, New York, NY.

by Anna Maria Brodeau Thornton (c. 1775—1865)

Watercolor on wove paper. The Montpelier Foundation, Orange, VA.

Visitors to Monticello often wonder at its practical accessories. Jefferson labored a month to save a minute. His home was impractical from the start — by reason of its very site (on a mountain), by the height given the first version of the building (later disguised in a way that left useless spaces in and around its dome), by the perpetual course of its dismantling and reassembly. To make the house more convenient, he made his daughter and her children live for years in a chaos of artistic second thoughts, sometimes sheltered only by canvas as the roof rose, fell, and assumed new shapes in his mind.

Garry Wills
Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (1978)