James Monroe Painting at Jefferson Hotel in RVA (Day 47 of 365 days of Art)

*****author update – fixed typos and wanted to add that Carl D. has a cool post about Washington’s inauguration HERE*****


Seeing that today is Trump’s inauguration, I thought I would share a presidential portrait – and to keep things fresh, I am featuring James Monroe (as opposed to Washington). This painting is hanging at The Jefferson Hotel in RVA, right beneath a replica of Washington’s portrait (there is so much art at this hotel).

Here is our 5th President, a portrait painted by James Bogle. Image taken in December 2016 – notice the poinsettia?

Delancey Place has some great bits of history in their book excerpts, like earlier this month with: “Few encores on Presidential Inaugurations” (here). A couple of years ago they featured some interesting info about the Monroe Doctrine (here) – with a snippet for you in this post:

“Today’s selection — from James Monroe by Gary Hart. The Monroe doctrine was a declaration by U.S. President James Monroe in 1823 that the Western hemisphere was now off-limits to European powers and that the 300 year era of colonization by Europe in North and South America was therefore officially over. It was a bold declaration, and well beyond America’s ability to truly enforce, but it was one of the most important and consequential doctrines ever put forward by the U.S. Few remember, however, that it was also a reciprocal doctrine — the U.S. simultaneously pledged not to meddle in the affairs of Europe and had no intention of imposing its political system on any who did not wish it…”


The Monroe painting was made by the highly talented James Bogle (1817-1873). He was a very popular artist.  He was born in the Carolinas and then moved around the East Coast of the United States.  He was a physician, educator, and artist. He studied art under Samuel F. B. Morse in NYC (more on Morse on Day 64 and will be HERE on 2-6-17). For a while, James Bogle traveled with his twin brother, Robert, up and down the east coast impressing people with their art skills (they were called the Siamese Twins of the Divine Art in 1840).

By 1853 James Bogle had set up his own school of painting and he was widely known as a portraitist. In 1949, he was elected an associate of the National Academy Design and he has many masterpiece paintings all along the east coast…. and numerous ones at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, VA.



Back to Monroe:

Maybe after the musical Hamilton (here) closes down or gets old,  someone else can write a rapping musical about Monroe’s life, because this humble and enduring guy had quite the adventurous life.  An injured vet, law school, four-terms as Governor, and other political offices, including President in 1817.

Quick Facts about our 5th President, James Monroe:

  • Born: April 28, 1758 — Westmoreland County, VA
  • Military: 1776 — joined Third Virginia Regiment -Second Lieutenant under Colonel Hugh Mercer – Monroe was wounded at Trenton
  • By 1780, he was studying law under the Governor of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson
  • Got into Politics in 1782 — member of the Virginia House of Delegates
  • Married in 1786 — Elizabeth Kortright from New York
  • Senator: 1790-1794 — a delegate from Virginia
  • Ambassador: 1794-1796 — to France under President Washington
  • Governor: 1799 — (elected in)of Virginia, served four terms
  • Negotiator: 1803 — purchase of the Louisiana Territory
  • Foreign Minister: 1803-1807 — to France, England and Spain
  • Secretary of State: 1811-1817 — under President James Madison
  • Secretary of War: 1814 — during the War of 1812
  • President of the US: 1817-1825
  • Death: July 4, 1831
Source: National Center for the American Revolution/Valley Forge Historical Society

13 thoughts on “James Monroe Painting at Jefferson Hotel in RVA (Day 47 of 365 days of Art)

    1. 🙂 yes, even though I know we are not defined by achievements – right, – and not everyone is called to live such high profile lives…. ah – and that can be a very good thing.


    1. Hi Joey – thanks and I have been schooled a bit since I posted this – someone sent me some more info – and I will share a snippet in this reply… – just FYI –

      Monroe facts from P. Stevens:

      James Monroe had a great influence on the history of America, even though he was not a brilliant person. He was somewhat shy and was not even a very good public speaker. But he helped the country to grow and become strong as a young nation.

      His famous Monroe Doctrine helped to make the country secure by warning the countries of Europe not to interfere in the nation’s business.

      Monroe was a good friend. Jefferson said of him that you could safely tell him anything and he would keep it confidential. “A better man cannot be,” he said. Another time he said of Monroe, “Turn his soul wrong side outwards, and there is not a speck on it.”

      When Jefferson was president, Monroe helped to arrange the Louisiana Purchase. This was a large area of land which was later divided into 15 states. Then when he became president, Florida was purchased from Spain. The country was growing very fast!

      When he had a decision to make, he would ask experts and get their opinions before he made his final decision.

      He always tried to see other people’s viewpoints and he tried to always be fair. By doing this, he was able to make friends with those who opposed him. The two terms he served as president became known as the Era of Good Feeling

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