Jean Baptiste Le Paon (c. 1736-1785) after Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827). “Washington.”
19th or early 20th century re-strike. 15 3/8 x 12 (image). Engraving by Noel LeMire (1724-1801). Printed in sepia on cream wove paper. Period hand color. Margins trimmed to image top and sides. Multiple tears skillfully repaired, with print mounted onto matching color backing paper in order to reinforce and fill small losses in image. All tears and fills skillfully in-painted. Overall, print is in poor condition but is stable with the image mostly intact. Unrecorded re-strike. Not found in Baker; Wick; Cresswell; Fowble. Sold as is.
A wonderful 18th century image of George Washington portrayed as a great military commander of ‘classical’ character. The famous American leader is given the heroic trappings of a great potentate, standing in front of an elegant tent resplendent with a rug draped table and a magnificent horse held by a Nubian servant. Shown in the background is the site of Washington’s great triumph, the Franco-American victory at Yorktown, Virginia, which ended the American Revolution. A proud Washington holds a copy of the “Declaration of Independence” and “Treaty of Alliance” with Great Britain, which established American Independence. Washington is shown treading on torn and discarded pre-war documents which represent the British attempts to suppress American rights and freedoms. The source of this striking image is a portrait by Charles Willson Peale, one of the Washington’s aides de camp. This portrait was owned by Thomas Jefferson while he was in Paris and it was copied by Le Paon for the Marquis de Lafayette.
This particular print is a late 19th century or early 20th century re-strike from the original plate where the original French title, artist, engraver and publication information was burnished out and a new title “Washington” re-engraved. This re-strike is unrecorded and is not found in any of the usual check lists of the portraits of George Washington.