A Hero On Canvas: George Washington as a General.

Essay by little_miss_indyCollege, UndergraduateA-, December 2005

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

George Washington was a hero who will always go down in history for his accomplishments. Not only was he the first president and the only one to be voted in unanimously, but also he was a great war hero that led his men bravely through battle. Being such a prominent figure he was painted several times so as to preserve him in our American history. Charles Willson Peale's Washington at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777 painted in 1784, depicts him at an early age on the battle field. Gilbert Stuart's George Washington (The Lansdowne Portrait) painted in 1796, captures a wiser and more accomplished man. Though the paintings have the same subject and similar characteristics they are diverse in depicting this American hero.

Against a smoky background filled with wounded and still fighting men, Washington stands there in his well-known right-arm-and-left-foot-out pose. You immediately look into his eyes and see the responsibility and weariness that has taken them over.

The thin mouth, that is a characteristic in all paintings of him, portrays his determination to win the battle and try to keep as many of his men that he can safe. The lace on his chest leads you to his mustard colored uniform. Every detail about his body was carefully recreated so as to make him come alive. Still you have to wonder why he bothered putting on his pocket watch that morning when he arose.

The older more experienced Washington is portrayed wearing a more sophisticated simple black dress coat with just a touch of lace for class. The darkness of his apparel stands out against the vibrant red behind him. You notice the surprising softness of his hand gesturing lightly, which is the same hand that draws you to his face, again expressionless perhaps due...