Gilbert Stuart (American, North Kingston, Rhode Island 1755–1828 Boston, Massachusetts)
Oil on canvas
30 1/4 x 25 1/4 in. (76.8 x 64.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1907
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 753
This portrait of President Washington, called the Gibbs-Channing-Avery portrait, is one of eighteen similar works known as the Vaughan group. The first of this type, presumably painted from life and then copied in all the others, originally belonged to Samuel Vaughan, a London merchant living in Philadelphia and a close friend of Washington. This original portrait by Stuart, painted in 1795 according to Rembrandt Peale, was subsequently acquired by Joseph Harrison of Philadelphia. While in Harrison's collection, Rembrandt Peale copied it many times. The version now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, considered to be one of the earliest and best replicas, was sold to Stuart's close friend, Colonel George Gibbs, and subsequently descended in the Gibbs family.
George Gibbs, New York (1795); his sister, Mrs. William E. Channing, Boston (before 1833–57); her son, William F. Channing, Providence, Rhode Island (1857–89); Samuel Putnam Avery Sr., New York (1889–d. 1904); his son, Samuel Putnam Avery Jr., New York (1904–7)