This painting is one of a group of views of Mount Vernon executed by Russell Smith during or just after his 1839 visit to the estate. At the time, George Washington’s old and new tomb at Mount Vernon were revered as national pilgrimage sites, a place where visitors could experience the greatness of Washington and the founding generation. The estate remained privately owned by Washington descendants, and was beginning to show the effects of heavy visitation. Construction on the new tomb--which Washington had left provisions for in his will--did not take place for several decades following his 1799 death. The remains of George and Martha Washington and other family members were interred there in 1831. At the time of Smith's visit, the arched roof which encloses the inner vault was not yet constructed. More


c. 1839




Oil on paper board (mounted on fiberglass honeycomb panel); gilt wood


Overall (H x W x D, framed): 15 3/8 in. x 18 5/8 in. x 2 1/2 in. (39.05 cm x 47.31 cm x 6.35 cm)


Purchased with funds donated by Mrs. Arthur Newton Pack, Vice Regent for Arizona, 1979

Object Number



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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