Can the Real George Washington Please Stand Up?

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Can the Real George Washington Please Stand Up?

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On Wednesday, July 2, Reynolda House Curator Allison Slaby gave the first talk in a new series called “Object of the Month,” in which a single work is the focus of an one hour discussion. In anticipation of the Independence Day holiday, Allison chose to delve into Reynolda’s engraving The Washington Family by Edward Savage from 1798. Guided by Allison’s insights, participants explored the iconic and varying depictions of George Washington in 18th and 19th-century American art.

Below are seven different representations of our nation’s first president listed in chronological order.

Which one do you believe most closely depicts your George Washington?

Use the image credits below to comment your answer or tweet it to @LearnReynolda.



1) Charles Willson Peale, George Washington at Princeton, 1779. Oil on canvas.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


2) John Trumbull, George Washington, 1780. Oil on canvas.  Metropolitan Museum of Art


3) Jean-Antoine Houdon, George Washington, 1785–1792. Marble.  Virginia State Capitol Rotunda, Richmond.


4) Gilbert Stuart, George Washington (The Lansdowne Portrait), 1796. Oil on canvas.  National Portrait Gallery.


5) Edward Savage, The Washington Family, 1798. Stipple engraving. Reynolda House Museum of American Art


6) Rembrandt Peale, George Washington, Patriae Pater, circa 1824. Oil on canvas.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


7) Emanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851. Oil on canvas.  Metropolitan Museum of Art.




Gilbert Stuart's portrait! 

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