[1802 George Washington Verre Églomisé Silhouette Portrait signed “C T.”].
An unusual and dated silhouette of George Washington
Verre églomisé portrait dated 1802 of the President George Washington made a few years after his death, likely as a mourning souvenir of the popular Revolutionary War general and first United States president.
The reverse painted and gilded glass silhouette depicts a sideview bust portrait of Washington. The delicate painting (applied before gilding) shows fine strands of his hair and a lace jabot at his neck. The mirror-like gilded background appears to make the black silhouette float before the viewer. The portrait is signed by the artist at the shoulder: “C T.”
Within the image is a caption giving Washington’s life dates, 1732 to 1799, and his initials “G. W.” Washington’s heroic, classical image in silhouette, as typically seen, seems at odds with this artist’s depiction; we can’t find a like comparison.
George Washington’s death in 1799 was the first great national public mourning in America. Artifacts were commercially produced almost immediately to commemorate his death; these included broadsides, memorial pamphlets, rings, textiles, ceramics, and silhouettes.
Description: [1802 George Washington Verre Églomisé Silhouette Portrait signed “C T.”].
[Np]. 1802. Reverse painted and gilded glass sheet, with paper backing. Image: 4¼ x 3¼ inches. Period or early gilt wooden frame, measuring 6 x 4¾ inches. Contemporary board backer, with indistinct inscription dated 1803[?]. Removed from frame. Mild surface wear.