Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 41

Price Realized: $ 2,860
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(WASHINGTON.) Valentine Green, engraver; after John Trumbull. General Washington. Mezzotint, 23 x 15 3/4 inches; cropped within platemark, wear including light wrinkling, a double horizontal fold, light soiling, and several small repairs near edges. London: Valentine Green, 15 January 1781

Additional Details

The earliest representations of Washington in Europe were the fictional Shepard-Campbell portraits of 1775 and their many imitators. In July 1780, Washington's former aide-de-camp John Trumbull came to London, hoping to launch a career as an artist under the tutelage of Benjamin West. One of his first projects was a portrait of Washington done from memory, and influenced by a Peale portrait he had copied back in America. He was imprisoned in November 1780 in response to the hanging of British officer John André, where he remained through July 1781. During his time in prison, the prominent mezzotint engraver Valentine Green set the portrait to paper, possibly the first print of a Trumbull painting--and the first print of Washington in Europe with any claim to accuracy. In the waning years of the war, it soon became the definitive European depiction of the American commander. Cresswell 215; Hart 84; Morgan & Fielding, pages 172-3.