George Washington on Glass

George Washington, Reverse painting on glass in Philadelphia

George Washington, Reverse painting on glass in Philadelphia

Days ago I had seen a similar portrait of George Washington in the New Britain Museum of American Art. This one was in Pennsylvania Grand Lodge of Masons in Philadelphia. The one in Connecticut was attributed to Foeiqua, the one in Philadelphia states “unknown Chinese artist.”

These reverse paintings on glass are after Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of our first president. The label in Philadelphia really brought the situation to life. Stuart made his bread and butter from paintings of Washington and kept the portrait that’s on the dollar bill unfinished specifically so he could make copies, even after repeated requests from Martha Washington.

George Washington by Foeiqua at the New Britain Museum of American Art

George Washington by Foeiqua at the New Britain Museum of American Art

Pirated DVDs may plague the film industry today, but according to the label at the Masonic Lodge, Stuart had to go to battle to keep the Chinese from reproducing his portraits of Washington. Stuart asked collectors of his portraits to sign an agreement stating that only he had the right to reproduce the image. He also complained to the Circuit Court of the Eastern District of the United States in an attempt to halt forgeries for sale.

A good reference book on the topic is Decorative Arts of the China Trade by Carl L. Crossman.

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ewmiller

In addition to my work at Stripe Specialty Media and American Vintage Market with Danielle Colby of American Pickers on History, I am also involved with Calendar of Antiques and Urban Art and Antiques. My work has allowed me to speak on the phone with notable architects, filmmakers and politicians including Steven Holl, Julian Schnabel and North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones. I have a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from NYU, a Masters in Urban Studies from the University of Akron and am author of a chapter on Ayn Rand’s life in New York in the book Literary Trips: Following in the Footsteps of Fame. I love the visual arts, music of all kinds, cities and urban living, bicycle riding, cats and vegetarian cooking. I am happy to have lived in both New York and San Francisco and to now reside in Dallas.

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