Socially and politically well connected, Lawrence Washington (1718-1752) was destined for greatness, but a lingering illness contracted while serving with the British in the Caribbean cut short his promising life. The loss was deeply felt by his younger half-brother, George Washington, to whom Lawrence had served as affectionate mentor after their father died in 1743. Through Lawrence, George was introduced into some of Virginia's finest families, thereby enabling him to learn and perfect his social graces as well as further his career as surveyor. In 1761, George inherited Mount Vernon from Lawrence's widow. He placed his half-brother's portrait in his private chamber in the Mansion, his Study - a fitting tribute to the man who helped make him who he was.


Porthole portrait of a brown-eyed man with brown hair tied in a queue, seen at half-length, his body facing slightly to the viewer's right and his head turned to the left as he looks at the viewer. He wears a white neckcloth under a green waistcoat edged with gold lace or embroidery and a collarless red coat with gilt-thread covered buttons. A black tricorn hat trimmed with gold lace or braiding and silver cockade is tucked beneath his left arm. Dark background.

In frame, W-126/B.


c. 1743




Oil on canvas


Overall: 30 1/2 in. x 25 in. (77.47 cm x 63.5 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1936

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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