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In honor of Thomas Jefferson’s 281st birthday, will you help us preserve and protect Monticello for generations to come?


Artist/Maker: Engraved by Raphael Morghen (1758-1833), after portrait by Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641)

Created: 1793

Origin/Purchase: Rome

Materials: Line engraving and etching

Dimensions: 65.1 × 46 cm (25 5/8 × 18 1/8 in.)

Location: Dining Room

Historical Notes: Francisco de Moncada was a Spanish general, diplomat, and author in the service of the Infanta Isabella and later envoy to the Court of Ferdinand II. Moncada was acting Governor in Flanders in 1634 when Anthony Van Dyck painted a large equestrian portrait with horse and rider, moving forward, in a landscape setting.[1] The original portrait now hangs in the Louvre.

In February 1818, Thomas Jefferson wrote to his friend Count Antonio Dugnani, thanking him for the "two exquisite engravings of Belisarius and Moncada, chef d'oeuvres of that art, which, placed among the ornaments of my house, renew to me daily the memory of your friendship."[2] Dugnani sent Jefferson the engravings by way of two Americans who had been studying in Rome.

According to his Catalogue of Paintings at Monticello (c. 1809-1815), Jefferson hung the prints of Moncada and Belisarius in the Tea Room. He made the special notation that the engraving of Moncada was "a print remarkable for its execution."[3] It most likely hung on one of the wall spaces to either side of the arch, yet because it would be almost impossible for visitors to see it in that location today, the print is currently exhibited in the Dining Room.

Jefferson's print of Moncada was sold at the 1827 Dispersal Sale to Joseph Coolidge for $27.00. Its whereabouts are unknown.

-  A.M.S. & S.M.O., 3/1/95


  1. ^ Erik Larsen, The Paintings of Anthony Van Dyck (Freren, Germany: Luca Verlag, 1988), 325-26.
  2. ^ Jefferson to Dugnani, February 14, 1818, in PTJ:RS, 12:461. Polygraph copy available online at the Library of Congress.
  3. ^ Jefferson's Catalogue of Paintings &c.The Thomas Jefferson Papers, Accession #2958-b, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library. For a transcription of Jefferson's catalogue, see Seymour Howard, "Thomas Jefferson's Art Gallery for Monticello," The Art Bulletin 59, no. 4 (1977): 583-600.