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Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor
Attribution
James Reid Lambdin, 10 May 1807 - 31 Jan 1889
Sitter
Zachary Taylor, 24 Nov 1784 - 9 Jul 1850
Date
1848
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 76.8 × 63.8 × 2.9cm (30 1/4 × 25 1/8 × 1 1/8")
Frame: 94.6 x 81.3 x 5.7cm (37 1/4 x 32 x 2 1/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Barry Bingham, Sr.
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.76.7
Exhibition Label
Twelfth president, 1849–50
Zachary Taylor was swept into the White House on a wave of popularity resulting from his victories in the Mexican-American War, and he began his presidency with the promise of bringing harmony to the Union. The ongoing debate over slavery, however, brought the nation closer to a sectional divide, particularly when decisions had to be made about whether or not to allow slavery in states that were forming in newly acquired territory. A Southerner by birth, Taylor was in favor of keeping slavery out of the new Southwest territories, namely California and New Mexico, and under his administration, Congress negotiatied to resolve the manifold political issues caused by slavery. But Taylor’s best efforts were ended by his sudden death, less than two years into his presidency. In this election year portrait, Taylor is presented as a sedate and uncharacteristically groomed figure. “Old Rough and Ready,” as Taylor’s soldiers knew him, usually dressed “entirely for comfort,” wrote Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant.
12o presidente, 1849–50
Zachary Taylor llegó a la Casa Blanca montado en una ola de popularidad a raíz de sus victorias en la Guerra de Estados Unidos y México, y comenzó su presidencia con la promesa de traer armonía a la Unión. Sin embargo, el debate vigente sobre el asunto de la esclavitud empujaba al país hacia la división, sobre todo a la hora de decidir si se permitirían esclavos en los estados que se estaban formando en los territorios recién adquiridos. Sureño de nacimiento, Taylor estaba a favor de prohibir la esclavitud en los nuevos territorios del suroeste, es decir, California y Nuevo México, y bajo su administración, el Congreso condujo negociaciones para resolver los múltiples problemas políticos causados por la esclavitud. Los grandes esfuerzos de Taylor se vieron truncados con su muerte súbita antes de cumplir dos años en la presidencia y un Compromiso de 1850 drásticamente modificado. En este retrato realizado en el año de su elección a la presidencia, Taylor tiene una apariencia sosegada y, en contra de su costumbre, va vestido con esmero. En efecto, sus soldados lo llamaban “Old Rough and Ready” (“listo como quiera”) y, según el teniente Ulysses S. Grant, vestía “siempre en función de la comodidad”.
Provenance
Theodore Sullivan; his grandson Walter S. Sullivan, Jr., New York, and three granddaughters; purchased 1976 NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, South Gallery 240