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GEORGE WASHINGTON   [ the Vaughan portrait ]

Oil on canvas, 1795
28 3/4 x 23 3/4 in. (73 x 60.5 cm)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.;  Andrew W. Mellon Collection

In the 1850s, this painting was erroneously identified as Stuart's first life portrait of Washington. It is now believed to be an early replica, purchased by the Philadelphia merchant John Vaughan from the artist in 1795 for his father, Samuel, who was in London. Stuart probably intended that this portrait would be engraved for the English edition of Johann Caspar Lavater's Essays on Physiognomy, Designed to Promote the Knowledge and the Love of Mankind (London, 1798). He took special care in painting the president's face, possibly working from the portrait of Washington that he admired more than his own, that done in 1785 by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon.

GALLERY:  1. Stuart in Newport & Scotland  |  2. Stuart in London  |  3. Stuart in Dublin  |  4. Stuart in New York
  5. Stuart in Philadelphia  |  6. George Washington Gallery  |  7. Stuart in Washington, D.C.   |  8. Stuart in Boston

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