Thomas Jefferson to John Trumbull
Paris Feb. 15. 1789.
I have duly received your favor of the 5th. inst. with respect to the busts & pictures I will put off till my return from America all of them except Bacon, Locke and Newton, whose pictures I will trouble you to have copied for me: and as I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundations of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical & Moral sciences, I would wish to form them into a knot on the same canvas, that they may not be confounded at all with the herd of other great men. to do this I suppose we need only desire the copyist to draw the three busts in three ovals all contained in a larger oval in some such form as this
Bacon at top: Locke next then Newton
each bust to be of the size of the life. the large oval would I suppose be between four & five feet. perhaps you can suggest a better way of accomplishing my idea. in your hands be it, as well as the subaltern expences you mention. I trouble you with a letter to mrs Church. we have no important news here but of the revolution of Geneva, which is not yet sufficiently explained. but they have certainly reformed their government. I am with great esteem Dr. Sir Your affectionate friend & humble servt. Th. Jefferson