On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830
Over the course of his career, Gilbert Stuart painted approximately a hundred portraits of George Washington, including four versions (three of which are original replicas) now known as the “Lansdowne” portrait (named after the painting’s first owner). Although the grandiose scale and setting are typical of eighteenth-century European aristocratic portraiture, other allegorical elements allude to the formation of the young republic. Representing Washington in civilian clothing and with his arm outstretched in an oratorical pose, Stuart also included details such as the Great Seal of the United States; a sword and books, such as Constitution and Laws of the United States, that are symbolic of the first president’s military and political accomplishments; as well as a rainbow that refers to the era of peace following the Revolutionary War.
This portrait was owned by the New York merchant William Kerin Constable, who, like Washington, benefited from the institution of slavery while also expressing abolitionist sentiments. Once on view in the family home in nearby Brooklyn Heights, the portrait passed down through Constable’s descendants before it came into the Brooklyn Museum’s collection in 1945.
Oil on canvas
96 1/4 x 60 1/4 in. (244.5 x 153 cm)
frame: 114 1/4 x 78 1/4 x 6 in. (290.2 x 198.8 x 15.2 cm) (show scale)
Dick S. Ramsay Fund and Museum Purchase Fund
Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755-1828). George Washington, 1796. Oil on canvas, 96 1/4 x 60 1/4 in. (244.5 x 153 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund and Museum Purchase Fund, 45.179 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 45.179_PS11.jpg)
overall, 45.179_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2019
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.