This miniature of George Washington is a copy of Gilbert Stuart’s Athenaeum portrait. Though it remained unfinished, the Athenaeum portrait became Stuart’s most reproduced image of the President. Stuart himself copied the work numerous times, as did accomplished miniaturists Robert Field, Thomas Sully, Walter Robertson, and Benjamin Trott. Stuart called Trott the “best and closest” of his imitators, yet his work was uneven in his later years, including his Washington portraits. This work is attributed to Trott, who was from Boston, as was the Civil War Colonel who acquired this miniature.
An oval, bust-length miniature portrait of George Washington in civilian dress. Washington is presented turned three-quarters to the proper left, gazing out toward the viewer. He has vivid blue eyes and a swollen face with a pale but florid complexion, and multiple skin folds in his neck. Washington wears a white stock and lace jabot under his black coat. His hair is powdered and worn ‘en queue’ with a black hair ribbon. The miniature is lit from the proper left.
The ground is primarily in shades of gray and brown, but there are intimations of a skyscape, particularly at the proper left edge, though it appears to have faded.
The case is a ¼” copper alloy oval, with no casement backing; the backing paper is visible.
Watercolor on ivory, copper alloy, glass
Overall (Including bezel): 2 3/4 in. × 3 3/8 in. (6.99 cm × 8.57 cm)
Other (Miniature): 2 1/2 in. × 3 3/8 in. (6.35 cm × 8.57 cm)
* Object size compared to a tennis ball
Gift of Mrs. Henry Lyman, 1951
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