After Edward Savage (1761-1817). “Washington Family.”
New York: Thomas Kelly, ca. 1865. 18 x 25 (image). Engraving. Rich impression. Tear into image at bottom skillfully repaired with archival tape and in-painted. Tears in margins repaired with archival tape. Chip in top left hand margin corner. Scuffing and staining in margins. Some cockling (wave) of paper. Otherwise, good condition.
The Edward Savage painting of George Washington and his family was a classic as soon as it was created, and the artist commissioned an engraving which appeared as early as 1798. This print was published by Thomas Kelly, most likely during the Civil War, who was one of the more successful print publishers of the mid-nineteenth century. All the members of Washington’s family are shown, including his favorite manservant William Lee. The faces of the group were based on first hand sketches that Savage made before he left for London in 1791. Savage placed the family group around a table upon which rests a map of the planned city of Washington. In the background is shown a scene of a ship-filled Potomac River at Mount Vernon. Informal group portraits such as this had become fashionable in England, and the popularity of these scenes soon transferred to America.