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 Mount Vernon –and particularly the old and new tomb–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. Here, Smith has presented a striking view of the mansion from the Potomac, and framed it with vegetation. A large cloud formation, which contains a face at far left, may suggest Washington in Heaven.


A horizontal landscape depicting the south east front of Mount Vernon. The mansion is presented encircled by the arc of curving tree branches from a large tree at right, a smaller tree at left, and smaller bushes and foliage below. A dirt track leads the eye towards the mansion from the right of the frame. The background is composed of blue sky and a large cloud formation, which contains a face at far left. In the left foreground there is a brown wooden bench set amid vegetation. Blue underdrawing can be seen throughout the trees in particular.

It is framed in a reproduction gilt wood frame.






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


Overall (H x W x D, framed): 15 3/4 in. x 18 7/8 in. x 2 1/2 in. (40.01 cm x 47.94 cm x 6.35 cm)
Overall (image): 7 5/8 in. x 11 5/8 in. (19.37 cm x 29.53 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Julian L. Woodward in memory of her son Eliot Greenleaf Woodward 1932-1978, 1979

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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