|Martha Washington, 1878, Eliphalet Frazer Andrews,|
official White House portrait painted seventy-six years after her death.
|First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy,|
1970, Aaron Shikler
|First Lady, Nancy Reagan,|
1987, Aaron Shikler
|Dolley Payne Madison, 1804,|
In 1970, Aaron Shikler was chosen by Jacqueline Kennedy to paint the official White House portrait of President Kennedy and herself (above, left). First Lady Nancy Reagan so admired the Jackie Kennedy portrait she also chose Shikler to paint her own official portrait (above, right) as well as a portrait of her husband. This portrait pair was separated, however. The President's portrait (in ranch attire) went to Washington's National Portrait Gallery. Howard Sanden painted both President George W. and Laura Bush (below).
|First Lady Hillary Clinton, 2004|
Simmie Knox (the only first lady to
be painted in a pants suit).
|The unveiling ceremony for the John Howard Sanden portraits of President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, 2012|
|First Lady Julia Gardiner Tyler, |
ca. 1865, artist unknown
|Claudia (Lady Bird)|
|Patricia Ryan Nixon, 1978, Henriette Wyeth,|
(not one of my favorites).
Perhaps my all-time favorite portrait of a first lady is that of Roosevelt's wife, Eleanor, by Douglas Chandor painted in 1949. Today it hangs in the Vermeil Room of the White House next to the Lady Bird Johnson portrait as well as those of Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Lou Hoover (by Richard Brown) and Pat Nixon (by Henriette Wyeth, daughter of N.C. Wyeth, and sister of Andrew Wyeth). Similar to a portrait study of FDR painted by Chandor during the Yalta Conference just two months before the president's death, Eleanor's portrait features beneath a traditionally posed portrait, painted studies of the first lady's hands and face in various highly characteristic expressions. It's also a great likeness of a none-too-attractive face radiating intelligence, warmth, strength, and character.
|Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, 1949, Douglas Chandor. |
"A trial made pleasant by the artist."--Eleanor Roosevelt.