This miniature is unusual is several ways. In addition to its enlarged round format, it depicts George Washington in a continental army uniform but with incongruous red lapels, and with very close-set brown eyes. These details suggest that the miniature was not made from life, but from a black and white print, and that the artist did not know that Washington’s lapels were buff and his eyes were blue. Signed “John Robinson,” it may have been created by the English-born artist of that name who appeared in Philadelphia in 1817.
A round bust-length portrait of George Washington in uniform. Washington is presented turned three-quarters to the proper right, and gazing out in the same direction. His close-set eyes are brown. Washington wears a light yellow waistcoat with a white shirt and a lace jabot under a blue uniform with red lapels and prominent gold/yellow epaulets. His hair is powdered and worn ‘en queue’ with a black hair ribbon. Both the jabot and the hair are outlined in opaque white. Graphite also outlines the hair and other details including the buttons.
The background is in very light shades of ivory to beige and gray tones, and painted with much thicker strokes than most miniatures.
The square-shaped frame is of dark brown wood. It has a circular inset to correspond to the miniature and a metal ring hanger.
Watercolor on ivory, wood, metal
Overall (Image in frame): 5 in. × 5 in. (12.7 cm × 12.7 cm)
Other (Including bezel): 8 3/4 in. × 8 1/2 in. (22.23 cm × 21.59 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Lyttleton B. P. Gould, Jr., M. Chapin Krech, Dr. Shepard Krech, Alvin W. Krech, Peter Chapin, Charles Chapin, and Mrs. Charles Merrill Chapin, III, in memory of Esther Maria Lewis Chapin, 1986
On the backing paper, below the inscription:
1. A red bordered stamp inscribed in graphite (?): 952.
2. In graphite (?):144, but crossed out.
Along the lower left side in brown ink at approximately 8 o'clock: â€œJohn Robinson. f.â€
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