Vertically oriented rectangular composition depicting full-length standing figure of George Washington, after Gilbert Stuart’s “Lansdowne” type portrait, in original frame.
Washington is shown full front, head turned slightly to proper right. He is dressed in a three piece brown suit, consisting of single breasted coat, waistcoat, and breeches; brown queue bow, brown hose, and brown shoes with buckles. His right hand is extended at chest height; his left hand is held near his left hip, grasping a dress sword just below the hilt. At his proper right is a table draped with green and yellow cloth, pulled up at the corner to reveal a gilt leg carved with two eagles near the top; on the top of the table are four books, an inkstand, quill pen, paper, and a brown hat with cockade; on the floor below the table are six additional books. Slightly behind Washington to his proper left, is an armchair with oval back, carved gilt frame, and red upholstery, standing on casters; on its crest is an oval medallion with a United States flag. The floor is covered with multi colored, patterned carpeting; in the background are two pairs of large columns and billowing red and brown drapes with gold cord and tassels; small areas of blue sky and white clouds are visible behind the drapery.
The surface of the piece is completely worked, using wool, silk, and chenille yarns on penelope canvas (woven with paired warp and weft threads). The majority of the piece is worked with wool yarns in diagonal tent stitches, stitched 2/2, approximately 14 stitches per inch. Washington’s face is worked in wool yarns in smaller tent stitches (petit point), stitched 1/1, approximately 29 stitches per inch. His hair, sideburns, and eyebrows are worked in fuzzy chenille yarns. The neck stock, jabot, sleeve cuffs, sword hilt, sword knot, scabbard fittings, shoe buckles, inkstand, feather quill, book binding ornament, page edges, and highlights of the buttons are worked with silk threads, stitched 2/2, approximately 14 stitches per inch..
The portrait is housed in an original wood frame, with sinuously carved outer edge, deep cove, and gilt metal liner. The original eglomisé glass has a narrow gilt inner border and a wider black outer border, on which is the name, “LOLLIE V. SMITH.”
Condition: A narrow section of unworked canvas is exposed along the top edge, with black staining running into the worked image. There is uneven fading overall, as is typical of this genre.
Wool, silk, chenille on linen canvas; glass, gilt; frame, wood, metal; berlinwork (canvaswork)
Overall: 57 in. × 44 1/2 in. × 3 in. (144.78 cm × 113.03 cm × 7.62 cm) (h x w, framed)
Other (sight): 44 3/4 in. × 32 1/8 in. (113.67 cm × 81.6 cm) (h x w, sight)
Gift of the descendants of Lollie V. Smith, 2016
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