George Washington suggested the two views of the Potomac River depicted in this landscape and its companion piece - one set at Great Falls and the other at present-day Harper's Ferry - as "grand objects" for painting. Both canvases (W-2 and W-3) initially hung in the upstairs drawing room of the executive residence in Philadelphia. After Washington retired from the presidency, they were placed in Mount Vernon's New Room. In full view of the Washingtons' many guests, these dramatic views promoted the beauties and wonders of the natural - and national - scenery of the new United States.


Horizontal, rectangular landscape painting depicting a river which flows through a narrow pass just above center in distance, through rocks in the midground, and then turns to the right. Large tree in foreground right with trunk angled to right and roots exposed. Clouds in sky. Sun shining at left.

Gilded, rectangular wood frame with mitered corners and cove-molded faces with applied composition ornament, including leaves in each corner and a string of beads or pearls along the inside edge.






Oil on canvas


Overall (H x W x D, framed): 47 7/16 in. x 58 3/4 in. x 4 in. (120.49 cm x 149.23 cm x 10.16 cm)
Other (H x W, canvas): 39 in. x 49 5/8 in. (99.06 cm x 126.05 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Louisa Washington, 1880

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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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