William Matthew Prior (1806—73)

by William Matthew Prior (1806—73)

Oil, painted reverse on glass. The de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA.

by William Matthew Prior (1806—73)

Oil, painted reverse on glass; H: 63 cm, W: 47.6 cm; (B) H: 63.1 cm, W: 47.6 cm. The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY.

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.

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