Martha Washington commissioned Gilbert Stuart for portraits of herself and her husband in 1796. Although George Washington's jaw and mouth look stiff and uncomfortable due to a new set of ill-fitting dentures, Stuart was so satisfied with the resulting likeness that he kept the unfinished canvases as sources for his many replicas. He painted approximately 75 of George Washington, including this extremely fine example, each with slight variations. Despite repeated requests from Martha Washington and Tobias Lear for the originals, Stuart's original portraits of our nation's first couple never made it to Mount Vernon. Today, the original, or “Athenaeum” portrait is owned jointly by the National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The work is arguably the most recognized image of George Washington, as a version of it appears on the U.S. one-dollar bill. More

Date

c. 1798


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Oil on canvas; gilt wood frame


Dimensions

Overall (Canvas): 29 3/16 in. × 24 in. × 1 3/16 in. (74.14 cm × 60.96 cm × 3.02 cm)
Other (frame): 35 13/16 in. x 30 5/8 in. (90.96 cm x 77.79 cm)
Other (frame molding width): 3 3/4 in. (9.53 cm)


Credit

Gift of Caroline H. Richardson, 1904


Object Number

H-4/A-B


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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