Duke Ellington

image for Duke Ellington
God is Love
Exhibition Label
In the first rank of American composers, Duke Ellington was "beyond category": his more than 2,000 jazz compositions include "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady," as well as Black, Brown and Beige and the later "Sacred Concerts." Legendary performer Tony Bennett (born Anthony Benedetto), who has had a lifelong interest in painting, here portrays the man he celebrated as his mentor. "When I worked on his portrait, I was inspired by the look of divine serenity on his face," Bennett noted, and he inscribed the painting, "God Is Love." Whenever Ellington completed a new piece, he sent Bennett roses to mark the occasion, and their presence here reflects the close bond the two artists shared.
Tony Bennett, born 3 Aug 1926
Duke Ellington, 29 Apr 1899 - 24 May 1974
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Tony Bennett
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
c. 1993
Object number
Nature & Environment\Plant\Flower\Rose
Duke Ellington: Male
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Duke Ellington: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Duke Ellington: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Watercolor and graphite on paper
Sheet: 36 x 51 cm (14 3/16 x 20 1/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 71.1 cm (22 x 28")
National Portrait Gallery