Monday, November 18, 2013

Louis XVI and Mount Vernon

Anna Gibson shares the history of George Washington's portrait of the King who saved the American cause.
As Washington observed, the print was certainly “elegant,” but its frame was even more impressive. A “palace style” frame similar to others used for state portraits, it was clearly commission by Louis XVI as a gift to Washington. In the lower corners, the cartouches feature the president’s initials (“G” and “W”) with the Washington family crest in the middle. The monogram of the French king (“L” and “XVI”) appear in the top corners, while the center ornament features the French royal coat of arms topped with a pierced crown, and flanked by a Native American headdress on the right and the French cap of liberty on the left. This merging of symbols of the nations and their leaders emphasized the exceptional bond between France and the United States established by their alliance in the Revolutionary War. (Read more.)


julygirl said...

That photo must have been anathema to George Washington. Ambitious as he was he did not want to be called "His Royal Highness".

elena maria vidal said...

Actually, George liked the portrait of Louis because he appreciated what the King of France had done for America.