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.
Oil on canvas; 30 x 24 in. One of the 78 scenes from American history by Ferris titled
The Pageant of a Nation. Virginia Historical S
Terra cotta patinated plaster. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Monticello, Charlottesville, VA.
Oil on canvas; 91.4 x 71.1 x (36 x 28 1/16 in).
Oil on wood; miniature. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Monticello, Charlottesville, VA.
Oil on mahogany. 4 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (11.4 x 8.3 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.
Oil on panel; 12.1 × 7.6 cm (4.8 × 3 in). The White House Collection, Washington, DC.
Oil on canvas. Independence National Historical Park, Portrait Collection (Second Bank of the United States), Philadelphia, PA.
Oil on canvas. Thomas Jefferson State Reception Room, U.S. Department of State building, Washington, D.C.
Pastel on paper. Independence National Historical Park, Portrait Collection (Second Bank of the United States), Philadelphia, PA.
Oil on canvas; 69.22 cm (27.25 in) x 60.96 cm (24 in). Private collection.