“John Adams” by John Trumbull depicts the American statesman and Founding Father, who served as the second President of the United States (1797–1801) and served two terms as the first Vice President (1789–97). When Adams was vice president, he had portraits commissioned by the artist John Trumbull, who based this painting on one of those original portraits.
John Adams established his prominence early in the American Revolution and was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, where he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence. He assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776. As a diplomat, he helped negotiate the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain.
In his single term as president, he was the first U.S. president to reside in the executive mansion, now known as the White House. In 1800, Adams lost his re-election to Thomas Jefferson and retired to Massachusetts. He died on the same day as Jefferson on the 4th July 1826, exactly fifty years after they had ratified the passage of the Declaration of Independence.
John Trumbull was an American artist during the period of the American Revolutionary War and was notable for his historical paintings. His “Declaration of Independence” was used on the reverse of the commemorative bicentennial two-dollar bill. Trumbull incorporated the likeness of his portraits into his depiction of the signing of the “Declaration of Independence” that is on display in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
- Title: John Adams
- Artist: John Trumbull
- Year: 1793
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dimensions Height: 635 mm (25 in). Width: 533 mm (20.98 in).
- Museum: National Portrait Gallery
Artist Essential Facts:
- Name: John Trumbull
- Born: 1756 – Lebanon, Colony of Connecticut, British America
- Died: 1843 (aged 87) – New York, New York, U.S.
- Nationality: American
- Notable works:
- John Adams
- Declaration of Independence
“Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”George Washington
Photo Credit: 1) John Trumbull [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons