This miniature, painted in 1801 by British-born artist Robert Field, is perhaps the most accurate record of Martha Washington's appearance in her final years. At the time, a visitor to Mount Vernon described it as a "striking likeness" that was "drawn to please her grand children in the usual long laced cap & neckkerchief [sic], that they may see her as she affected it in her every day face." Dressed in black with a dignified and serene countenance, she appears in mourning for her husband, who had died less than two years before.


Oval, bust-length portrait of Martha Washington; her head and body facing slightly to the right as she looks at the viewer; she wears a white cap with black ribbon, a white fichu, a white neckerchief, and a black lace shawl over a black gown; brown background that is lightest on the right; lit from the right.

Gilded copper case with double ring holder at top; blue glass reverse with fifty seed pearls surrounding a central bezel containing a lock of blond hair; underneath the blue glass is a layer of metal foil painted with white dots.






Watercolor, ivory, copper, glass, pearl, hair


Overall: 3 1/2 in. x 2 3/8 in. (8.89 cm x 6.05 cm)
Other (miniature without frame): 2 3/4 in. x 2 1/16 in. (6.99 cm x 5.23 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1956



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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