Joseph Wright’s Portrait of George Washington

American artist Joseph Wright painted this likeness of Washington after the Commander in Chief had finally secured American independence. General Washington sat for the portrait at his headquarters in Rocky Hill, New Jersey, in the fall of 1783, just before he traveled south to resign his command. Wright captured the appearance of a man who had grown gray and nearly blind in the service of his country. Washington, however, thought the portrait was “a better likeness of me, than any other painter has done.” Wright completed this portrait in 1784 and he made several copies, including one for Thomas Jefferson. This copy belonged to the Powel family of Philadelphia. It hung in the Powel House, located down the street from the Museum of the American Revolution, until the 1930s.

George Washington
Painted by Joseph Wright
Oil on Canvas
Courtesy of the Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent/The Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection/Bridgeman Images