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George Washington (1732–1799) (work of art)

Artwork Info

Artist Details
American
1778-1860
Medium
Painting
Created
circa 1855
Dimensions
36 x 29 in.
(91.4 x 73.7 cm)

About

The victorious struggle of the American Revolution gave the new United States its first national heroes. Artists were then faced with the challenge of finding a suitably “republican” way to commemorate the Founding Fathers and the statesmen who succeeded them.

No artist served the cult of George Washington more than Rembrandt Peale. He painted his first portrait of the president when he was seventeen. Many years later he “assembled every Portrait, Bust, Medallion and Print of Washington,” synthesizing them all into an ideal likeness, the so-called “porthole” portrait. Instead of Napoleon, here was the gentleman-soldier, a latter-day Cincinnatus.

tags: US History, power, identity, impact, function, force, artist’s process

Images

  • Rembrandt Peale George Washington (1732–1799)

    George Washington (1732–1799) by Rembrandt Peale

Related Concepts

Credit

Gift of Mrs. Charles Lee Smith Sr., William Oliver Smith, Charles Lee Smith Jr., and Mrs. Joseph H. Hardison in memory of Dr. Charles Lee Smith Sr., 1956