George Washington (1732-1799)
Oil on canvas
Overall: 28 x 22 in. ( 71.1 x 55.9 cm ) frame: 34 x 28 x 3 in. (34 x 28 x 3 in.)
Portrait of a young George Washington as a surveyor; sextant on stand, leaning against a rock; setting is in wilderness.
Best known as the leader of the Continental army against the British forces in the American Revolution and the first president of the United States, Washington also pursued a life-long interest in geography and cartography. Beginning with his early career as a Virginia County surveyor and throughout his life as a soldier, planter, businessman, land speculator, farmer, military officer, and president, Washington relied on and benefited from his knowledge of maps. Between 1747 and 1799 Washington surveyed over two hundred tracts of land and held title to more than sixty-five thousand acres in thirty-seven different locations. This portrait depicts Washington as a young surveyor, together with his sextant on a stand.
Apollo Association, for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in the United States: Catalogue of the Eighth Exhibition, at the Granite Building, Corner of Broadway and Chambers Street. 1841, New York: Charles Vinten, p. 8. "The Apollo Association," Arcturus, A Journal of Books and Opinion, Vol. 2, No. 12, November 1841, p. 373. "The Fine Arts. The Apollo Association," The New-York Mirror, Vol. XIX, No. 49, December 4, 1841, p. 390. "The Fine Arts. The Apollo Association. Musings Resumed," The New-York Mirror, Vol. XIX, No. 50, December 11, 1841, p. 399. "The Fine Arts. The Apollo Association. Musings Concluded," The New-York Mirror, Vol. XIX, No. 51, December 18, 1841, p. 407. Catalogue of American Portraits in The New-York Historical Society, New Haven: Yale University Press, Vol. III, 1974, p. 858. Koke, Richard J., American Landscape and Genre Paintings in the New-York Historical Society, Vol. I, New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1982, p. 169.
Bequest of Mrs. Bryan Kirby Stevens
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.