Skip to main content
George Washington (Porthole type)
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Rembrandt Peale, 22 Feb 1778 - 3 Oct 1860
George Washington, 22 Feb 1732 - 14 Dec 1799
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of an anonymous donor
Oil on canvas
Sight (Verified): 89.5 x 71.9cm (35 1/4 x 28 5/16")
Frame (Verified): 117.5 x 99.9 x 10.6cm (46 1/4 x 39 5/16 x 4 3/16")
Stretcher: 91.8 × 74.3 × 2.9 cm (36 1/8 × 29 1/4 × 1 1/8")
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, South Gallery 240
c. 1853
Exhibition Label
Rembrandt Peale, son of American artist Charles Willson Peale, painted George Washington from life in 1795 when he was seventeen. He later made numerous portraits of the president based on his memory of this sitting and on likenesses by other artists. From these, he developed an idealized image—known by the Latin name “Pater Patriae” (Father of His Country)—which served as a model for his many so-called “porthole” portraits of Washington. In these compositions, the subject’s face is seen through an oval stonework frame—an honorific convention in European art dating from the Renaissance.
Rembrandt Peale, hijo del artista estadounidense Charles Willson Peale, pintó a George Washington del natural en 1795, a los 17 años de edad. Luego creó numerosos retratos del presidente basado en sus recuerdos de aquella sesión y en obras de otros artistas. Así desarrolló una imagen idealizada, conocida como el “Pater Patriae” (padre de la patria), que sirvió de modelo para sus muchos retratos de Washington estilo “claraboya”. En estos, la cara del presidente se ve a través de una ventana ovalada en un muro, usanza dignificadora en el arte europeo que data del Renacimiento.
Hanson K. Corning, New York; Ephraim L. Corning, Geneva, Switzerland; Hanson K. Corning; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, subject to life interest in the donor’s niece Marguerite D. Velay [Mrs. Maxime Velay]; The Metropolitan Museum; sold 1975 to NPG
Object number