This profile portrait of George Washington was inspired by an original pastel by James Sharples, the renowned British pastellist, for whom the President sat at least once. This work and its pendant, of Martha Washington, were probably produced in the late 19th century, most likely using Sharples copies now owned by the Bristol Art Gallery as a source. Perhaps reflecting later tastes, the artist who produced these oils simplified the Sharples backgrounds, darkened their palette, and enlarged the images.
Bust-length, profile portrait of George Washington in civilian attire, facing proper right with shoulders slightly turned to the proper left. He wears a black velvet coat and matching waistcoat with a white stock and shirt ruffle. He is shown with fair skin, reddened lips and cheeks, blue eyes rimmed underneath with brown pigment, and long sideburns. His hair is powdered and worn ‘en queue,’ and tied with a gray ribbon. There is a light application of pale gray along the back of the collar, which extends very slightly toward the proper left shoulder. The portrait is lit from the proper right, and the background is in tones of dark brown.
Oil on canvas
Other (Framed in D-79.1): 36 in. × 31 1/2 in. × 3 1/2 in. (91.44 cm × 80.01 cm × 8.89 cm)
Purchased by the Connoisseur Society of Mount Vernon, 2014
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