George Washington

Hiram Powers American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 760

Powers based this bust of George Washington (1732–1799) on the authoritative portrait the French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon had modeled from life during his visit to America in 1785. The dignified image of the first president became the most successful of Powers’s portraits, with at least thirty-six life-size replicas carved. In some of them, the shoulders are covered in contemporary attire, while in others, such as this example, they are enveloped in a toga-like garment, a standard Neoclassical device. In the drape and the unincised eyeballs, Powers sought to link the bust with antique portraiture.

George Washington, Hiram Powers (American, Woodstock, Vermont 1805–1873 Florence), Marble, American

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.