A Swedish-born artist who achieved a wide reputation as a portrait painter in France, Wertmüller fled to the newly founded United States to escape the French Revolution. He achieved immediate success, obtaining a sitting with the U.S. president at the Senate Chamber in Philadelphia in 1795. The Davis Museum’s painting may be the original, or one of the twenty-two copies Wertmüller made. Washington appears formally dressed in a black velvet suit, with freshly powdered hair, the residue of which remains sprinkled on his jacket.


  • Title: Portrait of George Washington
  • Creator Lifespan: 1751 - 1811
  • Creator Nationality: Swedish
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Wilmington, Delaware
  • Creator Birth Place: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Date: 1794 - 1796
  • Physical Dimensions: w20 11/16 x h25 3/16 in (complete)
  • Provenance: Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James B. Munn (Ruth C. Hanford, Class of 1909) in the name of the Class of 1909
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Courtesy of the Davis Museum at Wellesley College
  • External Link: Davis Museum at Wellesley College
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Artist: Adolf Ulric Wertmüller

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