French ambassador Jean-Baptiste Ternant (1750-1816) presented George Washington with this portrait of King Louis XVI on December 22, 1791. Washington prominently displayed it in the state room of his Philadelphia residence and, later, in Mount Vernon's New Room. Its magnificent frame - one of the most significant French palace-style frames extant - would have been commissioned by the King as a gift for the President of the new United States. Although the frame symbolically places the Royal crest of the Kings of France above Washington's coat of arms at bottom, this regal gift embodies the amicable Franco-American relations that characterized Washington's first term as president.






Ink, laid paper


Overall: 28 1/4 in. x 21 1/2 in. (71.76 cm x 54.61 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1939

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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