In the spring of 1772, Charles Willson Peale visited Mount Vernon and painted miniatures of Martha Washington's children, John "Jacky" and Martha "Patsy" Parke Custis. At Jacky's insistence Martha's likeness was also captured, resulting in the earliest known depiction of her as Washington's wife. It shows her wearing a lilac-colored gown, pearl choker, and jeweled ornament in her hair. In the late-eighteenth century, the miniature of Martha was remounted into a pendant with a later copy of Peale's miniature of Jacky on its reverse. Although the posthumous portrait is based on the 1772 original, the sitter's clothing post-dates his lifetime, effectively bringing his memory into the present. More

Date

1772; refashioned c. 1790


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Ivory, gold, copper alloy, glass, watercolor


Dimensions

Overall: 2 3/8 in. x 1 13/16 in. (6.05 cm x 4.6 cm)
Other (A: ivory): 1 1/2 in. x 1 1/4 in. (3.81 cm x 3.1 cm)
Other (B: ivory): 1 3/4 in. x 1 1/2 in. (4.37 cm x 3.81 cm)


Credit

Purchase, 1956


Object Number

W-2102/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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