John Trumbull (American, Lebanon, Connecticut 1756–1843 New York)
Oil on canvas
36 x 28 in. (91.4 x 71.1 cm)
Bequest of Charles Allen Munn, 1924
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 753
In this portrait, George Washington (1732–1799) is shown standing on a bluff above the Hudson River with his enslaved personal servant, Billy Lee, on horseback behind him. The view across the river encompasses West Point, New York, with a red-and-white banner, possibly the Navy ensign adopted in 1775, flying atop the fortress. Trumbull had served on Washington’s staff as an aide-de-camp early in the Revolutionary War. He painted this portrait from memory about five years later, when he was studying in London. It was the first authoritative representation of Washington available in Europe and was soon copied throughout the Continent.
the de Neufville family, the Netherlands, 1780/1781–1890; London art market; with Edward G. Kennedy, New York, by 1898; Charles Allen Munn, West Orange, New Jersey, by 1908–died 1924