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. This inventive painting does not directly feature a gravesite, but incorporates the white fence above the old tomb as an allusion to it. The additional inclusion of a figure in black--likely representing a mourner--suggests the collective national bereavement for Washington during the period. 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 19 in. x 2 1/2 in. (39.05 cm x 48.26 cm x 6.35 cm)


Purchase, 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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