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1780's George Washington Engraving

George Washington

C. 1780's


Frame: 17" x 13 1/4"; Sight: 14 ¼” x 10 5/8”

This engraving of Washington was completed in the early 1780s after Lafayette returned from America; with him, he brought a portrait of General Washington by Charles Wilson Peale, which served as the design for this print. The engraving was designed by Bonnieu and engraved by Chevillet. The title translated from French reads, "Was[h]ington, Generalissimo of the United States of American."

The engraving of George Washington serves as a significant representation of his leadership and contribution to the American Revolution. Lafayette, a French general and ally to the American cause, played an important role in the creation of this engraving by providing a portrait of Washington by Charles Wilson Peale. The use of Peale's portrait as a reference for the engraving highlights the importance of portraiture in capturing the likeness and character of historical figures.


The French inscription on the engraving also reflects the international significance of Washington's leadership and the support of France in the American Revolution. The use of the title "Generalissimo" emphasizes Washington's role as the commander-in-chief of the American army and the leader of the United States.


This engraving is a significant historical artifact that offers valuable insight into how Washington was portrayed during the formative years of the United States. Its creation and distribution also demonstrate the importance of printmaking in disseminating information and shaping public opinion during this time period.

1780's George Washington Engraving

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