Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 39

Price Realized: $ 1,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(WASHINGTON.) George Washington, Esqr., General and Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in America. Mezzotint, 14 x 9 1/4 inches, by an anonymous engraver after "Alexander Campbell of Williamsburgh in Virginia"; minor soiling and wear, laid down on early mat board with dealer description laid down. London: C. Shepherd, 9 September 1775

Additional Details

A dramatic 3/4-length portrait of the general standing confidently as a battle rages behind him. Printseller C. Shepherd, responding to a great European demand for images of the American Revolution, issued a series of portraits during the war's first months, including 3 poses of General Washington. However, Washington had never crossed the Atlantic and no other Washington images were available on the British market until 1781, so these portraits were apparently created from Shepherd's imagination. No other record has been found of an actual artist named Alexander Campbell working in Virginia during this period. "If the publishers assumed that priority alone would make these . . . likenesses popular, they were right . . . Within only a few years these fictitious images of Washington had spread through Europe"--Wick, Washington pages 18-22. "These Shepherd prints alone furnished to Europe a representation of Washington's appearance, and for that reason they have considerable importance"--Morgan & Fielding, Life Portraits of Washington, page 53. Cresswell, American Revolution 206 (different state); Hart, Portraits of Washington 730.