Thomas Paine

Attributed to Samuel Collings (?–1795)
Pencil, ink, and wash on paper, c. 1792

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

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Thomas Paine was often viewed as slovenly and unwashed, but Samuel Collings’s image of the man in London during the early 1790s fits contrary descriptions. “In his dress and person he was generally very cleanly,” wrote Paine’s close friend Clio Rickman. He “wore his hair cued, with side curls, and powdered, so that he looked altogether like a gentleman of the old French school.”

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