After Pierre Eugène Du Simitière (1737-1784). “His Excellency General Washington Commander in Chief [of the forces] of the United States of North America.”
London: R. Wilkinson, No. 58 Cornhill, May 15th, 1783. 15th. 4 ½ x 3 ½ (image). Stipple engraving B. B. Ellis. Narrow margins. Print has been drum mounted onto 20th century old card stock. Bottom right hand corner of card stock chipped and repaired. Tear at top in card stock repaired. Else, very good condition. Hart 75; Baker 65; Cresswell 219.
This print is after a drawing by Du Simitiere while Washington was in command of the American armies in Philadelphia and was published about the time of the Treaty of Paris. At the request of John Jay, General Washington visited Du Simitière's house in Philadelphia to sit for a portrait. Du Simitière noted in his diary, "The general... came with [Jay] to my house this morning & condescended with great good nature to Sit about ¾ of an hour for the above likeness." This portrait of Washington became part of a set of portraits featuring famous revolutionary Americans published in Europe in 1783 and is one of the earliest portrayals of Washington from life.
It is interesting to note that someone added to the title in old manuscript ink, “of the forces.” Another example of this print is in the Library of Congress with this same addition and what appears to be by the same hand. Was this the publisher correcting the title by hand?Du Simitière, born in Switzerland, settled in Philadelphia in 1774 and became acquainted with the prominent Philadelphians associated with the Revolution. It was these associations which led Du Simitière to contribute to the design of the Great Seal of the United States which included the motto E Pluribus Unum, the Eye of Providence, and the design of the shield.