“James and Dolley Madison at Montpelier (Portrait)”
There exists in history events and situations that we know occurred but there is no visual record left behind to substantiate the fact. Take the deeply loving and historical relationship of our fourth President James Madison and his equally famous wife, a true first lady, Dolley Madison. Much has been written about the historic couple and their love for each other, but sadly, there are no known paintings commemorating the two together. That, plus the fact James passed before the advent of photography (the daguerreotype), there is no hope of there being a real photograph of the great American couple. That is until now!
Now, through the magic of Adobe Photoshop, we can visualize the two together as they should be. Utilizing the reconstructed life masks of James and Dolley, coupled with period correct attire and modern images of restored Montpelier, we can now create lasting images of what was once only available through imagination. In this image, we are talking to James in the drawing room of Montpelier. Dolley steps up to join her beloved and us in conversation. We take notice of the height and age disparity and good nature of the famous couple. In 1825 (the year the life masks were cast), James is 74 and Dolley is 56 years old, a 17-year difference. Also, we are struck by James’ diminutive height of 5’ 4” and slight build of over 100 lbs.
Quoting an article form the Smithsonian Magazine, “At Montpelier and the White House, the constant presence of younger generations meant that the patriarch and matriarch never took themselves too seriously. Upon receiving stockings too small for her generous proportions, she reported that ‘the hose will not fit even my darling little husband.’ When Dolley challenged a young girl to a footrace, she assured her that ‘Madison and I often run races here.’ A house guest reported that the former first couple, ‘sometimes romp and tease each other like two children.’”
“The guest added that Dolley, who was ‘stronger as well as larger than he,’ sometimes ‘could – and did – seize his hands, draw him upon her back, and go round the room with him.’ We are left to imagine the accompanying shrieks and laughter.”
About Life Masks:
Before photography, life masks were the best way to give us an exact likeness of their subject. Plaster would be applied to the head and sometimes upper torso to create a mold from which a life mask (cast bust) of the person would be created. In addition to being three-dimensional, the faithful transfer process of the life mask creation eliminated the “artistic license” and “sympathetic treatment” employed by many contemporary portrait artists. Thus, using life masks, I am able to complete a forensic/academic study of how the subjects most likely appeared using Adobe Photoshop to add flesh, hair, and other details.
According to James Madison, the life masks were exact likenesses of himself and Dolley. He stated, “Per request of Mr. Browere, busts of myself and of my wife, regarded as exact likenesses, have been executed by him in plaister, being casts made from the moulds formed on our persons, of which this certificate is given under my hand at Montpelier, 19, October, 1825…..James Madison.
J. I. Browere’s made life masks of many famous early Americans, Marquis De Lafayette, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Dolley Madison and James Madison to name a few.
About Your Print:
You will be getting the next number in the series according to what has sold so far.Your print comes with a certificate of authenticity and was made by a commercial printing service using Kodak Professional Endura Premier Lustre paper. My signature on the front and back is signed with an archival acid free ink pen and the blue logo stamp uses archival acid free ink.
Your print will last as long, if not longer than silver halide photographs under the same conditions. If you display your print in a frame under glass or acrylic board, try to avoid hanging in direct sunlight as the color may fade over time, as do traditional photographs.
This is a new ready-to-frame print. (FRAME NOT INCLUDED) Free Shipping
Prints and sketch/art cards ship with 3-5 business day via USPS First Class Mail.