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Thomas Jefferson's Bacon Portrait in Moticello, VA


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8 hours ago, Lawrence Gerald said:

Thomas Jefferson commissioned a Bacon Portrait that can be seen in his estate in Moticello, VA


Why would Jefferson have Bacon's Chancellor Robes painted  in purple?Jefferson's Monticello Bacon Portrait.jpgMonticello.jpeg

Thanks Lawrence for this art history oddity. There seems to be little if anything to find on Jefferson's copy of the Gorhambury portrait by van Somer.

This picture has to be a statement of Jefferson's conviction in SFB's royal descent. How else can it be interpreted?

If you search "Thomas Jefferson" AND "Francis Bacon" one of the first sites to come up is SirBacon: https://sirbacon.org/gallery/fathers.html

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6 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

Thanks Lawrence for this art history oddity. There seems to be little if anything to find on Jefferson's copy of the Gorhambury portrait by van Somer.

This picture has to be a statement of Jefferson's conviction in SFB's royal descent. How else can it be interpreted?

If you search "Thomas Jefferson" AND "Francis Bacon" one of the first sites to come up is SirBacon: https://sirbacon.org/gallery/fathers.html

Soon as I was introduced and became a Baconian and also growing up some years as a kid in and around Colonial Virginia, I always wanted to see the famous bust of Bacon at Monticello where Jefferson lived near the top of that beautiful hill visible from the interstate highway between Richmond and Washington DC. It may have been a rumor, but I have a picture in my mind of Bacon's bust.

https://www.monticello.org/research-education/thomas-jefferson-encyclopedia/montalto/

image.png.c9cfa09527205d91a0be0b44f07a31d1.png

Seems like 20 years ago I could find reference online, but now they are lost.

Eric, can you help end a myth or support a rumor of a "bust" of Bacon in Thomas Jefferson's possession? Maybe it was the portrait which is known and my wires are crossed. Not like that could happen... LOL

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Light-of-Truth said:

Soon as I was introduced and became a Baconian and also growing up some years as a kid in and around Colonial Virginia, I always wanted to see the famous bust of Bacon at Monticello where Jefferson lived near the top of that beautiful hill visible from the interstate highway between Richmond and Washington DC. It may have been a rumor, but I have a picture in my mind of Bacon's bust.

https://www.monticello.org/research-education/thomas-jefferson-encyclopedia/montalto/

image.png.c9cfa09527205d91a0be0b44f07a31d1.png

Seems like 20 years ago I could find reference online, but now they are lost.

Eric, can you help end a myth or support a rumor of a "bust" of Bacon in Thomas Jefferson's possession? Maybe it was the portrait which is known and my wires are crossed. Not like that could happen... LOL

 

 

Hi Rob,

Here is, I think, a starting place to answer your question :

https://www.google.fr/books/edition/The_Portable_Thomas_Jefferson/1hbAavG-aLEC?hl=fr&gbpv=1

Take a look at Jefferson's Letter to John Trumbull  talking about the three portraits (busts) of Bacon, Locke and Newton.

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14 hours ago, Light-of-Truth said:

Soon as I was introduced and became a Baconian and also growing up some years as a kid in and around Colonial Virginia, I always wanted to see the famous bust of Bacon at Monticello where Jefferson lived near the top of that beautiful hill visible from the interstate highway between Richmond and Washington DC. It may have been a rumor, but I have a picture in my mind of Bacon's bust.

https://www.monticello.org/research-education/thomas-jefferson-encyclopedia/montalto/

image.png.c9cfa09527205d91a0be0b44f07a31d1.png

Seems like 20 years ago I could find reference online, but now they are lost.

Eric, can you help end a myth or support a rumor of a "bust" of Bacon in Thomas Jefferson's possession? Maybe it was the portrait which is known and my wires are crossed. Not like that could happen... LOL

 

 

"Eric, can you help end a myth or support a rumor of a "bust" of Bacon in Thomas Jefferson's possession?"

 

Hi Light of Truth... I'm afraid not. Had a look at several video tours of Monticello looking for statues of FB; picture searches; text refs. - nothing. In fact, not a lot comes up when you do a general search for "bust of Sir Francis Bacon" ............ except for this head carved in black basalt (the ancient Egyptians' stone of choice, 9 on the mohs scale from memory). Height: 16", made around 1800. Not sure how many exist.

 

 

https://www.potomackcompany.com/auction-lot/wedgwood-black-basalt-library-bust-of-sir-francis_06948058AA

ScreenShot2024-02-29at7_39_41pm.png.eaa6a94712e97e84d46d0b56ff204cab.png

 

This sculpture is part of a series of busts of famous authors produced by Wedgwood.

ScreenShot2024-02-29at7_25_18pm.png.757a161a14adffa2483f69adee54bb5f.png

Ironically, there is also a bust of Shakespeare in the same series.

http://bathartandarchitecture.blogspot.com/2016_01_22_archive.html

Both are very desirable, I think. I can just imagine you sitting at your work station with both black basalt busts staring at each other. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
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As regards the purple portrait of Lord Bacon at Monticello, it has been re-framed (head & shoulders only) and copied from the Royal Society's Van Somer portrait c.1618.

ScreenShot2024-02-29at10_19_51pm.png.7d3659e952d986e84d9bee0f4820d3b1.png

Who knows who it is by? The robe itself and the ruff are meticulously copied, yet the skin tones are unconvincing. The change of colour of the sleeves can only be deliberate.

It's interesting that Lawrence found Jefferson's copy of the Van Somer portrait of Bacon, because it has never appeared in any of my countless searches for portraits of FB.

 

We know who produced the copy of the portrait of John Locke: Godfrey Kneller, heavy-weight champion portrait painter of England in the late 1600s-early1700s. If you would

like to see some of the many big wigs (literally) he painted there are over 400 of them in this short video. 

 

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Hi Eric,

Agreed the robe and ruff are beautiful but the skin tone is rather strange - almost modern as if it's been airbrushed. Like you say the purple would definitely have been deliberate. Not aware of any state robes (apart from royalty) that would be purple. 

The video is like a throw back to the big hair of the 1980s😆Great paintings but what a dreadful fashion! I read somewhere that the wigs were heavy, itchy and uncomfortable to wear as well as sometimes attracting infestations! The bigger the wig the higher the social status apparently.

 

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34 minutes ago, A Phoenix said:

Hi Eric,

Agreed the robe and ruff are beautiful but the skin tone is rather strange - almost modern as if it's been airbrushed. Like you say the purple would definitely have been deliberate. Not aware of any state robes (apart from royalty) that would be purple. 

The video is like a throw back to the big hair of the 1980s😆Great paintings but what a dreadful fashion! I read somewhere that the wigs were heavy, itchy and uncomfortable to wear as well as sometimes attracting infestations! The bigger the wig the higher the social status apparently.

 

A right bunch of peacocks.

Edited by Eric Roberts
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18 hours ago, Allisnum2er said:

Hi Rob,

Here is, I think, a starting place to answer your question :

https://www.google.fr/books/edition/The_Portable_Thomas_Jefferson/1hbAavG-aLEC?hl=fr&gbpv=1

Take a look at Jefferson's Letter to John Trumbull  talking about the three portraits (busts) of Bacon, Locke and Newton.

https://sirbacon.org/thjeffersonletter.htm

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25 minutes ago, Lawrence Gerald said:

Hi Lawrence,

Dear Sir,

I have duly received your favor of the 5th inst. With respect to the busts and pictures I will put off till
my return from America all of them except Bacon ...

Do you believe it is by coincidence that Bacon is the 33rd word of Jefferson's Letter ? 😊

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9 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

"Eric, can you help end a myth or support a rumor of a "bust" of Bacon in Thomas Jefferson's possession?"

 

Hi Light of Truth... I'm afraid not. Had a look at several video tours of Monticello looking for statues of FB; picture searches; text refs. - nothing. In fact, not a lot comes up when you do a general search for "bust of Sir Francis Bacon" ............ except for this head carved in black basalt (the ancient Egyptians' stone of choice, 9 on the mohs scale from memory). Height: 16", made around 1800. Not sure how many exist.

 

 

https://www.potomackcompany.com/auction-lot/wedgwood-black-basalt-library-bust-of-sir-francis_06948058AA

ScreenShot2024-02-29at7_39_41pm.png.eaa6a94712e97e84d46d0b56ff204cab.png

 

This sculpture is part of a series of busts of famous authors produced by Wedgwood.

ScreenShot2024-02-29at7_25_18pm.png.757a161a14adffa2483f69adee54bb5f.png

Ironically, there is also a bust of Shakespeare in the same series.

http://bathartandarchitecture.blogspot.com/2016_01_22_archive.html

Both are very desirable, I think. I can just imagine you sitting at your work station with both black basalt busts staring at each other. 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Eric,

You also have the Bust of Francis Bacon in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.

Fichier:Francis Bacon bust.jpg

Rob Hurson, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

https://www.tcd.ie/library/old-library/long-room/

The Bust of Francis Bacon is well accompanied, right between the Bust of Shakespeare (Stall BB) and  the Bust of Milton (Stall DD).

Why the fact that Bacon is the keeper of Stall CC does not surprise me ? 😄

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A few years ago I was in a place where I'd listen to the Thomas Jefferson Hour on the radio every week. I totally enjoyed it! Clay Jenkinson is a scholar who plays Jefferson on the radio. I never knew how much was actually true to the 16th Century Jefferson, yet it was always a peek into who he was and a history lesson comparing the differences between then and now. He'd mention Bacon often, and the "bust" was something he'd bring up.

https://jeffersonhour.com/

image.png.d4a150be0c175b5e6adeeaa6d27613c5.png

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