Portrait of George Washington

Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755-1828)1825

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum
Baltimore, United States

In 1793, after working in London and Dublin for 18 years, Stuart returned to America. Two years later, he painted his first portrait of George Washington, showing the right side of the president's face, a format since known as the Vaughan type. In the spring of 1796, Washington again sat for Stuart, and the resulting portrait, which was never finished, was originally acquired by the Boston Athenaeum. Depicting the left side of the face, this second version was replicated many times, becoming an icon of American art.

The Baltimore art collector Robert Gilmor, Jr., for a fee of $150, commissioned the artist to paint this example of the Athenaeum format. It was Stuart's last likeness of Washington.


  • Title: Portrait of George Washington
  • Creator: Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755-1828)
  • Date Created: 1825
  • External Link: For more information about this and thousands of other works of art in the Walters Art Museum collection, please visit art.thewalters.org
  • Roles: Artist: Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755-1828)
  • Provenance: Commissioned by Robert Gilmor, Jr., Baltimore, August 12, 1825; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gilmor, Baltimore, 1848. Purchased by Mrs. Sarah Madeline Vinton Dahlgren [1] (H. N. Barlow as agrent), Washington, D.C., 1872; purchased by William T. Walters (S. P. Avery as agent), Baltimore, 1885; inherited by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931. [1] wife of the American Civil War Admiral John A. Dahlgren
  • Object Type: oil paintings; portraits
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Inscriptions: [Number] On back of canvas: - 202 r7 70
  • Exhibitions: 19th Century Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum. Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin. 2010-2011., Old and New England. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. 1945., Man and His Years. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1954., Gilbert Stuart. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington. 2004-2005., The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800-1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
  • Dimensions: H: 30 5/16 x W: 25 3/8 in. (77 x 64.5 cm); Framed H with build-up: 40 9/16 x W: 34 15/16 x D: 5 3/8 in. (103.03 x 88.74 x 13.65 cm)
  • Credit Line: Acquired by William T. Walters, 1885
  • Classification: Painting & Drawing
  • Accession Number: 37.171

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