As a member of the President's household, Martha Washington's granddaughter Eleanor "Nelly" Parke Custis received an exceptional education that included drawing lessons with British landscape artist William Groombridge (1748-1811) in 1794. This watercolor of a frame house may be a product of those lessons. In the late eighteenth century, drawing masters promoted the idea of the picturesque, an aesthetic mode largely concerned with landscape that valued romantic subjects such as ruins and untamed nature. Nelly's depiction of the house, with its broken chimney and irregular additions, surrounded by the overgrown yard, is characteristic of the new sensibility. More


c. 1794




Watercolor, wove paper


Overall: 6 1/16 in. x 9 1/2 in. (15.39 cm x 24.13 cm)
Other (frame): 7 1/8 in. x 10 5/8 in. (18.11 cm x 27 cm)


Gift of Lyttleton B.P. Gould, Jr. and Family, 2002

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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