George Washington(1732-1799), First President of the United States
Sitter in 22 portraits
Born in Virginia, at the time a colony of Britain, Washington was the son of a planter. Despite a formal education lasting only a few years, he taught himself planting and land surveying by reading books and watching others. In 1759 he married Martha Dandridge Custis, a widow with large land holdings and many slaves. In his youth he spent time as a soldier and politician. He was Commander-in-Chief of the American forces during the War of Independence, presided over the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the United States Constitution in 1787 and became the first President of the United States, 1789-97. He established many of the ideals and principles of republicanism on which America has since been governed.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
by Frederick Holland Mares, after Disdéri, and Camille Silvy, and Duroni & Murer, and Émile Desmaisons, and John Jabez Edwin Mayall, and Herbert Watkins, and William Edward Kilburn, and Horatio Nelson King, and John & Charles Watkins, and James
albumen carte-de-visite, 1863
by James Stephenson, after J.F. Renault
line and stipple engraving, circa 1860