The Old Print Shop

The Washington Family : George Washington, his Lady, and her two Grandchildren by the name of Custis. [Title repeated in French on right].

  • ARTIST: Edward Savage

  • PUBLISHER: Philadelphia publish'd March 10th 1798 by E. Savage & Robt Wilkinson No. 68 Cornhill London.

  • MEDIUM: Stipple and engraving,

    DATE: 1798.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 18 5/16 x 24 7/16" (46.5 x 62.1 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: One of the great images of George Washington published before his death and the first Presidential family portrait.<br><br> In the winter of 1789–1790, President George Washington and his wife Martha Custis posed for Edward Savage while in New York City, then the nation's capital. Mrs. Washington's grandchildren, adopted by the Washington's after the deaths of their parents, also sat for their portraits. Savage began to incorporate the separate life studies of their faces into a group portrait to be engraved on a copper plate. It portrays George and Martha Washington, two of Martha’s grandchildren, George Washington Parke Custis and Eleanor Parke Custis, and George’s servant, a slave named William “Billy” Lee.<br><br> Savage's catalogue states that Washington's uniform and the papers beneath his hand (including the Pierre Charles L'Enfant – Andrew Ellicott map of the new Capital City) allude to his "Military Character" and "Presidentship" respectively. With the map before her, Martha Washington is "pointing with her fan to the grand avenue," now known as Pennsylvania Avenue. Behind them all is a supposed vista looking down the Potomac River. It is recorded that Washington purchased two impressions of this engraving to display at Mount Vernon.<br><br>

  • ADDITIONAL INFO: A beautiful impression.

  • CONDITION: Good condition save for two short tears in lower title margin. Short tear in upper right. Some small areas of paper fill in upper margin. Professionally conserved. Some condition issues but overall a very nice example.

  • REFERENCE: Fowble 202