George Washington

Artist: John Trumbull (American, Lebanon, Connecticut 1756–1843 New York)

Date: 1780

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 36 x 28 in. (91.4 x 71.1 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Charles Allen Munn, 1924

Accession Number: 24.109.88


In this portrait, Washington is standing near the Hudson River with his servant Billy Lee behind him. The view across the river shows West Point, where the red and white banner, possibly the navy ensign adopted in 1775, is flying atop the fortress. Trumbull had served on Washington's staff as second aide-de-camp at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. He painted this portrait from memory about five years later, when he was studying in London. It became the first authoritative representation of Washington available in Europe and was soon copied throughout the Continent.