In his lifetime, Charles Willson Peale, one of the finest portrait artists America has ever produced, created 60 portraits of George Washington, whose birthday we celebrate this month.
Peale’s work hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. But you don’t have to leave New Jersey to appreciate his talents; several of his Washington paintings are on display in the Garden State.
The Montclair Art Museum displays Peale’s General George Washington (1783), an oval-framed close-up of the rosy-cheeked founding father. In Morristown, Macculloch Hall has Peale’s George Washington (1795), painted four years before Washington’s death; Ryan Hyman, Macculloch Hall’s curator of collections, calls the portrait “the treasure of our museum.”
Peale’s most famous work, George Washington at the Battle of Princeton, finished in 1784, can be found on the grounds of Princeton University. Registrar Maureen McCormick says that the Princeton trustees commissioned the portrait to thank Washington for reclaiming Nassau Hall from British troops. Temporarily displayed at the Princeton Art Museum, the painting will return to the faculty room in Nassau Hall, its home for the past 200 years, when renovations are completed in April.Click here to leave a comment