Charles Willson Peale
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830
John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, commissioned this portrait of George Washington. As Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, Washington liberated Boston (visible in the background) from the British in March 1776. Hancock wrote to Washington, “I beg, Sir, you will be pleased to accept my heartfelt thanks for the attention you have showed to my property in that town.”
Washington reluctantly accepted Hancock’s invitation to sit for the Philadelphia painter and radical patriot Charles Willson Peale. In a diary entry dated July 2, 1776, Peale recorded work on the portrait along with these terse but resonant words: “This day the Continental Congress declared the United States Colonies Free and Independent States.”
Oil on canvas
44 x 38 5/16 in. (111.7 x 97.3 cm)
frame: 53 3/4 x 48 x 3 3/4 in. (136.5 x 121.9 x 9.5 cm) (show scale)
Dick S. Ramsay Fund
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Willson Peale (American, 1741-1827). George Washington, 1776. Oil on canvas, 44 x 38 5/16 in. (111.7 x 97.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 34.1178 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 34.1178_SL3.jpg)
overall, 34.1178_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.