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Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Max Westfield, 1882 - 1971
Sitter
Albert Einstein, 14 Mar 1879 - 18 Apr 1955
Date
1944
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 102.9 x 77.5cm (40 1/2 x 30 1/2")
Frame: 123.2 x 97.8 x 9.5cm (48 1/2 x 38 1/2 x 3 3/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the artist
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Estate of Max Westfield
Object number
NPG.67.16
Exhibition Label
Born Ulm, Germany
The most brilliant scientist of the twentieth century, physicist Albert Einstein inspires comparisons to Isaac Newton. By the time he reached thirty, his theory of relativity and work in quantum mechanics had revolutionized physics and profoundly altered our perception of the world.
Einstein naturally commanded great prestige in the United States when he sought refuge from the Nazi regime of his native Germany in 1933. His words thus carried enormous weight in 1939 when he wrote a letter alerting President Roosevelt that Germany was moving toward the development of nuclear weaponry. Eventually, that warning gave impetus to the Manhattan Project, the top-secret venture that in 1945 produced the world's first atomic bomb.
While sitting for this likeness in 1944, Einstein mused to his portraitist, "After fifty years they will say of me, either he was a great man or a fool!"
Provenance
The artist; gift to NPG 1967
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
20th Century Americans: 1930-1960
On View
NPG, South Gallery 322