May 13, 2008

George Washington for Williamsburg

So far, I've only received from Colonial Williamsburg the portrait of George Washington they'd like me to interpret for them. It's a full-length portrait by Charles Willson Peale. Apparently, Peale did several versions of the painting.

Coincidentally, I found a beautiful coffee table book about Peale and all the family members he taught to paint while antiquing on Mother's Day. Peale named his sons after famous painters (Rembrandt, Reubens, etc.) and taught them to paint. Peale was a pretty fascinating character and served under Washington in the Revolutionary War.

Anyway, I'm posting here a version of the painting (this one is presumed to have been commissioned by Martha Washington because George wears his state sword, which appears in no other version) and my GW in progress for Williamsburg. Note the detail of his shirt, which will be permanently hidden by his military coat, which is yet to be made. His boots have just come out of the oven and are not primed and painted and his "pants" are still the under batting. He's been pretty challenging so far -- getting his body posed like the painting is no small feat! Right now, he's leaning on a doll stand ... but we're hatching a scheme to recreate a cannon similar to the one in the painting. I don't usually post pictures of works in progress, so enjoy!


Atticbabys said...

I just fainted. You are remarkable Nina!!!
Your George looks even more like the real "George" than the actual portrait! Does that make sense?
He is already amazing, and I cannot wait to see the completion!!!

Dixie Redmond said...


Prim and Proper Folks said...

Oh Nina!!! You are so very talented!! GW is looking quite regal...even standing in his skivies! haha

Congratulations on Williamsburg. I am so happy for you!

Now..what's the difference between a moppet and a poppet? :-) Susan

Prim and Proper Folks said...

p.s. I'm happy to see you have recovered from your gall bladder surgery so nicely. You are amazing. S

Nina said...

Well, Susan, since you asked ... and this is my interpretation. Poppet is a term of endearment for "dear little one," so it was commonly used to refer to cherished little dolls (now it also refers to voodoo dolls, but we won't go there for now). A moppet, according to a book on 18th century fashion I picked up in Williamsburg last summer, was the name given to the fashion dolls used by milliners (dressmakers, not hatmakers, at that time). I read somewhere that, because it was of the utmost importance that the queen be apprised of the latest fashions, the courier who carried her moppet was given special dispensation that allowed him to cross, unmolested, even battle lines. My poppet who wanted to be a moppet has decided she must be the queen's moppet. Thus, she has been dressed in silk with a fancy hat. Her name is Mariah Regina. Pictures soon, I promise (she still has no shoes).


FairiesNest said...

I love seeing WIP's and your's is wonderful! It's so great to see how different artists tackle a challenge and Washington looks so real!