George Washington

George Washington’s image first became popular in America around 1775, the year he was named commander in chief of the Continental Army. Formal yet direct, this portrait is among many variants that Stuart based on his famous, unfinished study of President Washington done from life in 1796. Stuart’s portraits quickly became the iconic representation of Washington as statesman and founding father of the new republic, guaranteeing the artist a long and lucrative career.

Provenance

William Willing by 1845; to (Lewis Rogers, agent, New York, 1845); to R.L. Paterson, 1845; to Charles Paterson, by descent; to (Hermann Schaus?); to Mrs. Elizabeth S. Clark, c. 1905; to Stephen C. Clark, by descent, 1909; to Robert Sterling Clark by April 1911.

Gilbert Stuart

American, 1755–1828

George Washington

1796–1803

Oil on canvas

28 15/16 x 24 1/16 in. (73.5 x 61.1 cm) Frame: 38 1/8 x 36 x 2 1/8 in. (96.8 x 91.4 x 5.4 cm)


Acquired by Sterling Clark, 1911

1955.16


ON VIEW

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Conrads, Margaret C. American Paintings and Sculpture at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1990.