August 18, 2009
Old House Chamber, Richmond, VA renovated. c. 2009
- George Catlin Painting–Virginia Constitutional Convention 1829-1830
The painting was done by George Catlin in Richmond, VA during the winter of 1829-1830. The artist George Catlin was seized with the idea of capturing the likenesses of the assembled statesmen in a single grand style painting. Eventually, all 101 delegates went to Catlin’s studio to have their portraits painted in watercolors. Then Catlin painted this oil version on a walnut board. Catlin slightly enlarged the heads in proportion to the bodies to give a good likeness of each man. Catlin’s miniatures are the only surviving portraits of many of the delegates. No prints ever were made, but Catlin went on to win fame as a painter of American Indians. Former presidents James Madison and James Monroe and future president John Tyler and Chief Justice John Marshall were among the delegates. Their presence led to its being called the last meeting of giants of the Revolutionary generation. Alexander Campbell was present representing Brooke County, VA. Campbell was esteemed by the men present for his knowledge of the Scriptures. He appears in the last row, sixth from the right.
The photograph was taken recently of the Old House Chamber in the State Capitol building in Richmond, VA. The Old House Chamber has been completely renovated.