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George Washington
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
c. 1796
Object number
Exhibition Label
"This is an Original Portrait of Genl Washington taken in 1797," wrote Martha Washington's granddaughter Eliza Parke Custis in an inExhibition scription framed with this profile drawing. "It was painted by Mr. Sharpless & is an exact likeness except the complexion Genl Washington was very fair with light brown almost auburn hair-he had not a black beard. He had artificial teeth but so well fixed, that they did not disfigure his mouth." Just as the president was leaving office, English-born artist James Sharples made one of the last life portraits for which Washington would sit. Washington's profile was taken with a mechanical instrument to ensure accuracy.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
James Sharples, c. 1751 - 1811
George Washington, 22 Feb 1732 - 14 Dec 1799
Pastel on paper
Image/Sight: 22.5 × 17.8 cm (8 7/8 × 7")
Frame (Verified): 30.5 × 25.5 × 4 cm (12 × 10 1/16 × 1 9/16")
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery