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Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731-1802)

Rembrandt Peale

Artwork Details

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731-1802)
Rembrandt Peale
oil on canvas
35 ⅞ in x 29 ⅛ in (91.12 cm x 73.98 cm);35 ⅞ in x 29 ⅛ in (91.12 cm x 73.98 cm);47 ¾ in x 40 ½ in (121.29 cm x 102.87 cm)
Bequest of Henry C. Lewis


Subject Matter:

Based on a portrait of Martha Washington by his father, Charles Willson Peale, in 1795, this is one of several posthumous portraits of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (June 2, 1731-May 22, 1802) painted by Rembrandt Peale in the 1850s. The stone oculus surrounding the sitter mirrors Peale’s “porthole portraits” of George Washington, which he framed in stone to underscore the subject’s monumentality and to serve as an allusion to the Roman Republic, whose ideals were continually invoked by the Founding Fathers.

Physical Description:

Bust-length portrait of a woman with grey hair in a cream colored dress seated in a red chair with a view of the landscape to right of figure seen through an illusionistic stone oval window or oculus.

Usage Rights:

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