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George Washington

George Washington, by Gilbert Stuart, 1797 -NPG 774 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

George Washington

after Gilbert Stuart
28 in. x 19 1/2 in. (711 mm x 495 mm)
NPG 774

This portraitback to top

See NPG 2041.
A reduced, uninspired copy of the ‘Munro-Lenox’ portrait, NPG 774 was once attributed (without real evidence) to the copyist William Winstanley, [1] a British painter settled in New York who probably worked with Stuart in 1796-97 and who forged replicas of his portraits. [2]

Footnotesback to top

1) By C. H. Hart in the Philadelphia Evening Telegraph, 3 March 1892, reprinted in The Collector, 15 December 1895, p 51 (on file NPG).
2) See D. Evans, The Genius of Gilbert Stuart, 1999, pp 85-86.

Referenceback to top

Fielding 1923
M. Fielding, Gilbert Stuart’s Portraits of George Washington, 1923, pp 143-44, no.26.

Morgan & Fielding 1931
J. H. Morgan & M. Fielding, The Life Portraits of Washington, 1931, p 294, no.70.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue eyes, powdered hair, wearing a black suit with black buttons, his black hat on the red-covered table cloth; red upholstered chair, purple drapery in the centre; the books and papers are not lettered.1

1 In Stuart’s Lansdowne portrait the three books below the table are inscribed: GENERAL ORDERS, AMERICAN REVOLUTION and CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES; the two on the table: THE FEDERALIST and THE JOURNAL OF CONGRESS; see W. Kloss et al., Art in the White House, 1992, p 66.

Provenanceback to top

William Scholefield (1809-67), Birmingham, who acquired the portrait through his American wife, née Miller; his son-in-law, George F. Meredith, 1877,1 from whom purchased 1887.

1 When Meredith first offered the picture to the NPG, providing the provenance here cited: Scholefield married in New York in 1828; it was alleged his wife’s forebear had served on Washington’s staff and had been given the portrait by Washington himself.

Exhibitionsback to top

1 The Past We Share, Dallas, 1967 (20); Up in Arms, Belfast, 1998.

1 Meredith also claimed NPG 774 was shown at the Centennial Exhibition in 1876 [the Philadelphia International Exhibition], but that cat. lists, p 210, no.170, only the 'Lansdowne' whole-length Washington lent by J. Delaware Lewis.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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