Thomas Gainsborough (1727—88)

by Thomas Gainsborough (1727—88)

Oil on canvas; 127.5 x 107 cm. National Trust, Knole, Kent, England.

by Thomas Gainsborough (1727—88)

Oil on canvas; Height: 244 cm (96.1 in). Width: 152.4 cm (60 in). Kenwood House, English Heritage; London, England.

by Thomas Gainsborough (1727—88)

Oil on canvas, feigned oval; 29 7/8 in. x 24 7/8 in. (760 mm x 631 mm). National Portrait Gallery, London, England.

by Thomas Gainsborough (1727—88)

Oil on canvas; 238.8 × 158.7 cm (94 × 62.5 in). Royal Collection Trust, Buckingham Palace, London, England.

by Thomas Gainsborough (1727—88)

Oil on canvas; 71 × 40 cm (28 × 15.7 in). Private collection ???

Admiral Lord George Brydges Rodney (1719—92)

by Thomas Gainsborough (1727—88)

Oil on canvas; 29 1/2 in. x 24 1/2 in. (749 mm x 622 mm). National Portrait Gallery, London, England.

by John Henry Robinson (1796—1871), after Thomas Gainsborough (1727—88)

Stipple and line engraving; paper size with decorative border: 11 1/8 in. x 7 5/8 in.

by George Kirtland (fl.1791—98), after Thomas Gainsborough (1727—88)

Oil on canvas; 142 x 119 cm. City of London Corporation, Guildhall Art Gallery, London, England.

Washington was imperfect. In strictly military terms, he does not merit comparisons that have sometimes been made between him and generals like Marlborough, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, or Robert E. Lee. Yet he remains a remarkable man, one of those Tolstoyan figures whose acts determine the course of history. James Thomas Flexner has called him the indispensable man. Nobody — not Nathanael Green or Henry Knox, and certainly not Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, or John Adams — united the military, political, and personal skills that made Washington unique ... without George Washington there could have been no victory in the Revolutionary War, no United States. As a soldier he was erratic but competent. As a man he was impulsive, vindictive, brave, hardworking, intelligent, and virtuous. And as a leader he was great. Those who mourned Washington’s passing in 1799 were right to regard him, for all his flaws, as the savior of his country.

Edward G. Lengel
General George Washington: A Military Life (2005)