In 1795, George Washington sat for the artist Charles Willson Peale at Philosophical Hall in Philadelphia. Peale had painted six earlier life portraits of Washington and this would be his last. Peale's likeness of the president presented a serious but tranquil statesman contemplating the nation's future. Its modest success led to commissions for small size copies such as this one, which offered art patrons an intimate look at the venerated leader.


Bust-length oil on canvas portrait of George Washington; Washington is turned three-quarters to the right and is dressed in a black coat and waistcoat with a white stock and ruffle of lace at the neck; Washington's hair is curled and powdered and held at back in a black queue bag; dark maroon background lit from the upper proper right.

Gilded composition on wood Louis XVI frame with a beaded border, acanthus ogee, plain molding, and a narrow band of egg and dart molding.


c. 1795-1800




A: Oil on canvas B: Wood, gesso, gilt


Overall (A: painting): 7 3/4 in. x 6 1/8 in. (19.69 cm x 15.57 cm)
Overall (B: frame): 12 in. x 10 3/8 in. x 2 3/16 in. (30.48 cm x 26.37 cm x 5.56 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Wallace H. Cole and Mrs. John C. Jansing, 1995

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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