James Madison Sr.
Original Author: Charles Peale Polk
Created: 1799
Medium: Oil on canvas

James Madison Sr.

James Madison Sr., the father of the fourth president of the United States, rests his left arm on a table that holds several books, including Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man (1791), a book then considered radical by conservatives in the United States. In his book Paine defends revolution as a means to obtain democracy and social justice. Charles Peale Polk painted this portrait, and the inclusion of the controversial book is apparently a political statement by Madison Sr.