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Imagining George Washington
The Boglewood Catalog
of Images Published during his Life


Image Sources:  Charles Willson Peale

 

CHARLES WILLSON PEALE was George Washington's first portraitist, and one of the most influential.  Aided by multiple sittings, Peale painted more than 65 documented portraits of Washington.  Many were copies of his own

 

originals, and others differed only in placing one of his Washington likenesses in new surroundings or different poses.  The influence of his paintings as a source for prints is based upon five principal portrait types.

 


Peale Type A

Oil on canvas.
50" x 40" ( 1772)

 


Washington sat for his first Peale painting at Mount Vernon on 20-22 May 1772.  The painting, which depicts Washington as a colonel in the Virginia militia, remained hanging at Mount Vernon until it passed to George Washington Parke Custis upon the death of his grandmother, Martha Custis Washington.  The painting is now in the collection of Washington and Lee University.

   Print based on Peale Type A
     

Peale Type B

Oil on canvas.
( 1776)

 


John Hancock commissioned this Peale painting while he was serving as president of the Continental Congress of 1776.  Washington, portrayed in his Continental Army uniform, sat for the painting in Philadelphia on 13 June 1776.  The painting is now in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum.

  Prints based on Peale Type B

Boglewood 1201


Boglewood 1202


 Boglewood 1203

Boglewood 1207

Boglewood 1211

Boglewood 1215


Boglewood 1220


Boglewood 1221


Boglewood 1222


Boglewood 1223


Boglewood 1224


Boglewood 1225


Boglewood 1226

 
 

 
Peale Type C

Oil on canvas.
94" x 59" (1779)

 


The Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania commissioned this Peale painting on 18 January 1779.  The painting depicts the battle of Princeton in the background.  Peale traveled to Princeton and Trenton in preparation for the work.  In 1781, while hanging in the Pennsylvania State House, the painting was damaged by vandals.  The painting was returned to Peale, displayed in his museum, and sold in the auction of the museum's assets in October 1854.  It is now in the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

  Prints based on Peale Type C
 
Boglewood 1301

Boglewood 1304
 

Peale Type D

Oil on canvas.
19" x 23-1/2" (1787)

 


Washington sat for this painting in Philadelphia on 3-6 and 9 July 1787, during the Constitutional Convention.  The painting was sold in October 1854 at the auction of assets of the Peale Museum, and is now in the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

  Prints based on Peale Type D

 
Peale Type E

Oil on canvas.
29" x 24"  (1795)

 


Peale introduced an older, more presidential image of Washington in 1795.  The portrait, painted in Philadelphia in September 1795, was sold in the auction of Peale Museum assets in October 1854, and is now in the collection of the New York Historical Society.

No print has been identified based upon this image and published in Washington's lifetime.


 

Peale Type not identified

 

Peale-based prints which are identified in Hart, but not described in sufficient detail to determine their Peale Type, are grouped here.

  Prints based on unidentified Peale Type
 
Boglewood 1552

Boglewood 1553

Boglewood 1554

Boglewood 1555
     
       

© 2013 Boglewood Company/C. I. G.