Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"I Cannot Tell a Lie"

8 x 10"
oil on panel

What a timely post for today.

Our first President of the United States never said those words although it is still, to this day, a quote credited to George Washington.  This iconic story about the value of honesty was invented by a Washington biographer after the President's death - he wanted to please the masses who wanted to know more about this great man.  So he made it up - when Washington was a young lad, he received a hatchet as a gift and damaged his father's cherry tree.  When dad confronted his son, George bravely said, 'I cannot tell a lie.. I did cut it with my hatchet.'  Never happened.

This biographer, Mason Weems, was also a minister who thought the best way to improve the moral fiber of society was to educate children - even if it was fake news.  

Gilbert Stuart was the go-to-guy for portraits in Federal America.  His George Washinton (The Constable-Hamilton Portrait) was commissioned as a gift for Alexander Hamilton.  It was painted in Philadelphia in 1797 during Washington's final year in office.  It hangs in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Please click here for a larger view.

~ Happy Valentine's Day

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