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1800 Thomas Jefferson Portrait

1800 Thomas Jefferson Portrait


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1800 Thomas Jefferson Portrait

Thomas Jefferson, polymath, American Founding Father and President (b. 13 April 1743 - d. 4 July 1826). Engraving by W.Holl in " The Gallery of Portraits" 1837 with later colouring, after print by Desnoyers and painting by Peale 1800. His chief contribution to science came in paleontology, describing the American Mastodon and in 1797 the first fossil of the giant ground sloth Megalonyx jeffersonii from West Virginia. Megalonyx means " giant claw" (see Leidy 1855). Cuvier credited the discovery and illustrated it in his 1812 " Ossamens fossiles". Buffon had been dismissive of the American fauna as feeble and Jefferson was happy to counter the claim with fossils such as these. Jefferson also contributed to the sciences as an inventor and archaeologist. He founded the University of Virginia

Science Photo Library features Science and Medical images including photos and illustrations

Media ID 6318235

© This image is Paul D. Stewart 2009. Do not reproduce without permission of the photographer at Stewartpauld@aol.com

Archaeologist Cuvier Fossil Giant Ground Sloth Inventor Leidy Mastodon Megatherium Scientist Virginia Palaeontology Thomas Jefferson University Of Virginia


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases the iconic 1800 portrait of Thomas Jefferson, a true polymath and one of America's Founding Fathers. Engraved by W. Holl for "The Gallery of Portraits" in 1837, this particular version features later colorization, adding depth to the original print by Desnoyers and painting by Peale. Thomas Jefferson's immense contributions to science are highlighted in this portrait. As a paleontologist, he described the American Mastodon and made an astonishing discovery in 1797 - the first fossil of the giant ground sloth Megalonyx jeffersonii from West Virginia. The name Megalonyx translates to "giant claw" as aptly coined by Leidy in 1855. Jefferson's scientific achievements were significant not only because they challenged Buffon's dismissive view on American fauna but also because they showcased his dedication to advancing knowledge. In addition to paleontology, he excelled as an inventor and archaeologist. Beyond his scientific pursuits, Thomas Jefferson played a pivotal role in establishing the University of Virginia. His vision for higher education led him to found this esteemed institution that continues to shape minds today. Paul D. Stewart beautifully captures all these facets of Thomas Jefferson through his expert lens. This print serves as a reminder of how one individual can leave an indelible mark on multiple fields while shaping history itself.

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