An American president in Paris

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George Washington after the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777, newly attributed to Charles Willson Peale, around 1779, from the National Museum of the Palace of Versailles and the Trianons

Vive la revolution! The Louvre is experiencing the revolutionary spirit again but this time it has a decidedly American accent. “New Frontier III: Anglo-American Portraiture in an Era of Revolution” (28 April) is the third instalment in an exhibition series at the Paris museum that is a collaborative effort with the High Museum of Art, Atlanta the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville and the Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago. Not surprisingly, George Washington, the father of the country, features heavily, but research for the show has resulted in a new attribution of one his portraits, on loan from the Château de Versailles. Once thought to be an 1830s copy of an older work, the works is now believed to have been painted by Charles Willson Peale, and the Louvre’s head curator of painting has traced its provenance to Guillaume-Chrétien de Lamoignon-Malesherbes, a former Minister of Louis XVI, making it among the first portraits of Washington to cross the Atlantic.

From In The Frame

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