Charles Willson Peale's 1787 museum portrait of Washington provided the artist's younger brother James (1749-1831) with a source for his own c. 1790 portrait of the general at the battle of Yorktown. The Charles Willson Peale portrait is now owned by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
James Peale borrowed other elements from his brother's work for this painting. The background landscape is possibly from Charles Willson Peale's 1784 full length portrait of Washington that is now owned by the Fogg Museum of Art. Perhaps in reference to the two brothers' joint Revolutionary experience, James included them in the painting directly behind Washington. Several of James' copies of the museum Washington portrait with varying backgrounds exist, along with others by the Peales' nephew, Charles Peale Polk, in public and private collections.
Possibly purchased by John Dunlap from the Peale family at an unknown date. Purchased by John Binns from John Dunlap c. 1810. Purchased by the City of Philadelphia from John Binns in 1849.