“Speaking generally, no penance is like having one’s picture done. You must sit in a constrained and unnatural position, which is a trial to the temper. But I should like to sit to Stuart from the first of January to the last of December, for he lets me do just what I please, and keeps me constantly amused by his conversation.” John Adams on sitting for Gilbert Stuart’s portrait sessions.
Gilbert Stuart always claimed his depiction of Washington most authentic… speaking about the famous Lansdowne Portrait- famously rescued by Dolley Madison(or her servants) in 1814. Stuart cited his authenticity-
“When I painted him [Washington], he had just had a set of false teeth inserted, which accounts for the constrained expression so noticeable about the mouth and lower part of the face…” Gilbert Stuart