Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Edward Savage, American (Princeton, MA 1761 - 1817 Princeton, MA)
Sitter: George Washington (1732 - 1799)
George Washington (1732-1799)
Work Type
Creation Place: North America, United States, Massachusetts, Boston
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Oil on canvas
77 x 64.5 cm (30 5/16 x 25 3/8 in.)
framed: 84.8 × 72.1 × 5.7 cm (33 3/8 × 28 3/8 × 2 1/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.l.: E. Savage Pinx. 1790
Gift of Edward Savage to Harvard College, 1791.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard University Portrait Collection, Gift of Edward Savage to Harvard College, 1791
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Samuel Atkins Eliot, A Sketch of the History of Harvard College: And its Present State, C. C. Little & J. Brown (Boston, 1848), p. 83, 179

"Washington Portrait by Savage", The Historical Magazine, C. Benjamin Richardson (New York, 1858), p. 47

Edmund Quincy, Life of Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts, Ticknor and Fields (Boston, 1867), p. 50

Elizabeth Bryant Johnston, Original Portraits of Washington, Including Statues, Monuments and Medals, J. R. Osgood and Co. (Boston, MA, 1882), pp. 44-46, ill. p. 44

Clarence Winthrop Bowen, ed., History of the Centennial Celebration of the Inauguration of George Washington, D. Appleton & Co. (New York, NY, 1892), p. 544, ill. opp. p. 14

"The Harvard College Portrait of George Washington Painted by Edward Savage", The Harvard Graduates' Magazine (Cambridge, MA, June 1895), Vol. 3, no. 12, pp. 502-505, pp. 502-505, ill. opp. p. 453

William Garrott Brown, A List of Portraits in the Various Buildings of Harvard University, Harvard University Library (Cambridge, MA, 1898), p. 43

Perry A. Atherton, "When Washington Lived in Cambridge", The Harvard Illustrated Magazine (February 1900), vol. 1, no. 5, pp. 111-123, ill. p. 112

Charles Henry Hart, "The Congress Voting Independence"; a painting by Robert Edge Pine and Edward Savage in the hall of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1905), p. 15

Charles Henry Hart, Edward Savage, Painter and Engraver, Cambridge University Press (Boston, 1905), pp. 5-8

John Hill Morgan and Mantle Fielding, The Life Portraits of Washington and their Replicas, Lancaster Press, Inc. (Lancaster, PA, 1931), p. 180

Frederic Fairchild Sherman, Early American Painting, The Century Co. (New York and London, 1932), p. 180

George Washington Bicentennial Committee, George Washington Bicentennial Historical Loan Exhibition of Portraits of George Washington and his associates, exh. cat., United States Government Printing Office (Washington, D.C., 1932), p. 13, no. 11

Gustavus A. Eisen, Portraits of Washington, R. Hamilton & Associates (New York, 1932), vol. II, p. 457

Laura M. Huntsinger, Harvard Portraits: A Catalogue of Portrait Paintings at Harvard University, ed. Alan Burroughs, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1936), p. 143

Washington, Lafayette, Franklin: Portraits, Books, Manuscripts, Prints, Memorabilia, for the Most Part from the Collections of the University, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1944), p. 10, cat. 3

Louisa Dresser, "Edward Savage, Painter 1761-1817", Art In America (1952), vol. XL, no. 4, pp. 191-194; p. 192, ill.

Alexander C. Brown, "The Chancellors of William and Mary", Daily Press (Newport News, VA, 1965), p. 5

Louise Todd Ambler and Kenyon Castle Bolton, III, "American Painting at Harvard", Antiques (New York, NY, November 1972), vol. 102, no. 5, pp. 876-883, p. 876, fig. 1

Kenyon Castle Bolton, III, Peter G. Huenink, Earl A. Powell III, Harry Z. Rand, and Nanette C. Sexton, American Art at Harvard, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), cat. 22, ill.

Milo M. Naeve, "The Best Likeness of George Washington by Edward Savage", Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL, 1976), vol. LXX, no. 4, pp. 13-16, p. 15

Linda Ayres, Harvard Divided, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1976), pp. 91-92, cat. 44, ill.

Wendy C. Wick, George Washington, an American Icon: The Eighteenth-Century Graphic Portraits, University of Virginia Press (Charlottesville, VA, 1982), p. 40, ill. p. 41

Thomas Fleming, First in Their Hearts, Walker and Company (New York, 1984), ill. p. 112

Sandra Grindlay, "Harvard's Portraits: An American Treasure", Harvard University Art Museums Review (Fall 1992), vol. II, no. 1, pp. 6-7, p. 6

John Caldwell, Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, and Dale T. Johnson, American Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Volume I: A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born by 1815, ed. Kathleen Luhrs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Princeton University Press (New York, NY and Princeton, NJ, 1994), p. 160

Ellen G. Miles, American Paintings of the Eighteenth Century, National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C, 1995), p. 148, fig. 1

Ellen G. Miles, George and Martha Washington: Portraits from the Presidential Years, exh. cat., National Portrait Gallery (Charlottesville, VA, 1999), p. 22, ill.

Jane Turner, The Encyclopedia of American Art before 1914, Macmillan Publishers Limited (London, England, 2000), p. 451

Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life, Penguin Press (New York, 2010), p. 614

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. and Melissa Renn, American Paintings at Harvard, Volume One: Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels by Artists Born before 1826, Yale University Press (U.S.) and Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge and New Haven, 2014), pp. 23, 427-28, cat. 390, ill.

Exhibition History

George Washington Bicentennial Historical Loan Exhibition, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 03/05/1932 - 12/24/1932

Portraits of original members of the Society of the Cincinnati, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 05/10/1935 - 06/09/1935

Washington Lafayette Franklin, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 02/22/1944 - 05/28/1944

Edward Savage, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, 01/04/1952 - 03/08/1952

American Art at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/19/1972 - 06/18/1972

Harvard Divided, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/03/1976 - 10/10/1976

George and Martha Washington, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, 02/19/1999 - 08/09/1999

Reciprocal Loan: Harvard Law School Library, Caspersen Room, Harvard Law School Library, Cambridge, 09/15/2014 - 08/15/2015

Afterward: The Revolutionary Veterans Who Built America, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Yorktown, 06/10/2017 - 11/27/2017

Related Works

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