Thomas Jefferson

Artist: John Trumbull (American, Lebanon, Connecticut 1756–1843 New York)

Date: 1788

Medium: Oil on mahogany

Dimensions: 4 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (11.4 x 8.3 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Cornelia Cruger, 1923

Accession Number: 24.19.1


The Connecticut-born, English-trained Trumbull became the leading chronicler of the United States’ newly won independence in the years after the American Revolution. Beginning in 1789, he spent five years traveling up and down the Eastern Seaboard taking "heads" from life, mainly of statesmen and military officers—such as Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Mifflin, displayed here—in addition to Giuseppe Ceracchi, a noted Italian sculptor visiting Philadelphia in search of public commissions. As preparatory studies for Trumbull’s many history paintings, these gem-like miniatures are distinguished by their sensitive characterization and fluid handling.