Label

This portrait miniature of George Washington was painted by renowned 19th century American miniaturist Benjamin Trott. It is a copy of Gilbert Stuart’s Athenaeum-type portraits. Like many other artists, he was deeply influenced by Stuart, and--with Stuart’s approval--made numerous miniatures after his portraits. This masterfully executed miniature makes clear why Stuart called Trott the “best and closest” of his imitators. Here, Trott has given Washington an expression of dignity but not severity, and avoided the appearance of discomfort in the mouth so common in many of the Stuart paintings. The clothing is also painted with notable prowess: the coat and waistcoat with dynamic vertical and diagonal strokes, the jabot with impressive detail and three-dimensionality.

Description

A rectangular bust-length miniature portrait of George Washington in civilian dress, three-quarters turned to the proper right. His blue eyes gaze out toward the viewer. His neck is elongated and his face is finely painted in shades of blue, salmon, and brown, darkening along his jaw and into the hairline at proper left. The figure’s powdered hair is highlighted with pale blue and worn with prominent curls (especially at proper right) and ‘en queue’ with a black hair ribbon or queue bag. He wears a white shirt with an intricately detailed lace jabot. His black velvet coat has been painted with numerous vertical strokes of black paint in several shades; his black waistcoat with diagonal strokes.

The ground is extensively hatched in shades of blue and brown. The hatching is particularly evident in the area just above Washington’s head to the proper left, and becomes noticeably lighter and bluer above the proper left shoulder.

It is framed in a red leather case which has a white satin lining.

Date

1830-1841


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Watercolor on paper (?); leather, satin


Dimensions

Overall (Including case): 3 7/8 in. × 3 1/4 in. × 5/8 in. (9.84 cm × 8.26 cm × 1.59 cm)
Other (Image inside frame): 3 7/16 in. × 2 3/4 in. (8.73 cm × 6.99 cm)


Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. DeCourcy W. Thom, Vice Regent for Maryland, 1961


Signed

In brown ink on proper right side, in the background below the proper right shoulder: “B. Trott”.


Object Number

H-2377


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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