This painting shows a perspective of Mount Vernon that is difficult to comprehend in the landscape today, as the staircase is now removed. While it is inscribed “Washington’s First Grave at Mount Vernon, Va,” the tomb itself is virtually invisible in the scene. (It appears just above and to the proper left of the staircase and proper left dead tree.) The painting represents one of several known landscape works by A. Zeno Shindler, a Bulgarian or Romanian-born photographer and painter whose biography is shrouded in mystery. Shindler likely visited Mount Vernon sometime in the 1870s or 1880s before producing this unusual work. Employed by the Smithsonian Institution for many years, Shindler produced photographs of Native Americans for their first photographic exhibition in 1869, and created paintings based on the photographs which were shown the following year. More


c. 1867-1899




Oil on artist's board


Overall (H x W x D): 7 3/16 in. × 12 in. (18.26 cm × 30.48 cm)
Overall (frame): 19 7/8 in. × 15 1/8 in. × 2 5/8 in. (50.48 cm × 38.42 cm × 6.67 cm)


Gift in memory of Ruth Miller Easton, 2015


In red paint at lower left edge, in triangulated form, artist’s monogram: “AZS”

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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