Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Citizen SpectatorArt, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Wendy Bellion

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833889

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838907_Bellion

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CSO for personal use (for details see http://www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 November 2017

The Politics of Discernment

The Politics of Discernment

Chapter:
(p.63) 2 The Politics of Discernment
Source:
Citizen Spectator
Author(s):

Wendy Bellion

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9780807833889.003.0003

This chapter retells one of the tallest tales in American art history, which begins with a visit to the Peale Museum. Sometime during the late 1790s, George Washington called at the museum with the intent of viewing waxwork sculptures of several American Indian figures. As Charles Willson Peale escorted Washington to the gallery featuring the waxworks, the president was stopped in his tracks by a trompe l'oeil picture. “The painting represented my elder brother,” Peale's son Rembrandt later recalled in the literary journal the Crayon, “with palette on hand, as stepping up a stairway, and a younger brother looking down.” “I observed that Washington, as he passed it, bowed politely to the painted figures, which he afterwards acknowledged he thought were living persons. If this first homage bestowed on the picture was not indicative of its merit, it was, at least, another instance of [Washington's] habitual politeness.”

Keywords:   American art history, Peale Museum, George Washington, waxwork sculptures, American Indian figures

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .