John Trumbull (1756—1843)

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on wood; 9.8 x 7.6 cm (3 7/8 x 3 in). Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas. 76.83 x 61.28 cm • 30 1/4 x 24 1/8 in. Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas; 96.5 x 121.9 cm (38 x 48 in). Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on wood; 14 x 11.1 cm (5 1/2 x 4 3/8 in.) Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas; 9 3/4 x 50in. (101 x 127cm). Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm). Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, MA.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas; 36 x 28 in. (91.4 x 71.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 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; 30.125 in. x 20.125 in. (76.517 cm. x 51.117 cm.). Winterthur Museum, Wintherthur, DE.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas; 235 x 160 cm (92 1/2 x 63 in.) Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

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)