Reub's journey

06 February 2009

The mother of our country

Portrait of Martha Washington, 1796 by James Peale, and painting by Michael Deas , 2006

How should we get in the mood for President's Day? I know. Let's talk about Martha Washington; when was the last time you did that?

Artist Michael Deas, who painted the Columbia Pictures symbol (white-robed lady holding a torch in front of a giant cumulus cloud), has illustrated the cover of Patricia Brady's book about Martha Washington. To do so he looked at an "age regression" image produced by forensic anthropologists at the LSU Face Labs, where they scanned the bone structure from a painting done in 1795. And guess what: Martha wasn't always a "frumpy, dumpy, plump old lady" as described by Brigid Schulte in the Washington Post. She was apparently quite pretty. And we know she possessed purple silk high heels, which obviously makes her foxy, no question. It also gave Mr. Deas the idea of dressing her in a purple gown for his portrait of her.

Martha Washington, 1795, Charles Willson Peale's 3rd portrait of her. I have a problem with her hat.

Martha Washington in her 20's, and all gussied up, by Michael Deas, 2006. There, that's better, no hat.

I was impressed with Mr. Deas until I realized he painted this: Cows in History....ackkk!!!


  1. If only he could have done "dogs in history."

  2. That would have been totally different, of course.


Talk to me.