“Apotheosis” is a Greek word meaning to deify or to glorify in a divine way. It can refer to the theological act of raising an individual to a divine status, and also a glorification of a subject in a work of art.
When Washington died in 1799, the country was beside itself with grief. And things got a little strange. Shortly after his death, artwork appeared representing Washington ascending to heaven.
This kind of thing was pretty un-Republican however, and thankfully it didn’t catch on for future presidents. At least not until Lincoln’s assassination, after which artists directly referenced the images of the 1st president’s divine ascension and applied them to the 16th.
> > > > > http://www.philosophersguild.com/blog/?p=2865
Lincoln and Washington~ http://fineartamerica.com/featured/presidents-washington-and-lincoln-war-is-hell-store.html
Washington & Lincoln Apotheosis~ http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/98506771/