George Washington

Artist: John Ramage (Ireland ca. 1748–1802 Montreal)

Date: ca. 1789

Medium: Watercolor on ivory

Dimensions: 2 x 1 3/8 in. (5.2 x 3.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Charles Allen Munn, 1924

Accession Number: 24.109.93


This Irish miniaturist and goldsmith worked in Dublin, London, and Halifax before coming to America in 1775. He moved to New York in 1777 in search of portrait commissions and quickly became the miniaturist of choice, a distinction he held for more than fifteen years. His work is characterized by a rich palette, delicate brushwork, and fine hatching that meticulously delineates his sitters' features. In 1789, the new president, George Washington, sat for him in New York (then the U.S. capitol) and Ramage painted at least three miniatures, including this one, each in his characteristic elliptical form with his own, handmade scalloped cases.