Early American Painting

Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860)
George Washington, Porthole Portrait, after 1824
Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 29 3/16 in. (92.1 x 74.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.53

Object - Rembrandt Peale, George Washington Porthole Portrait

A founder of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Rembrandt Peale was a prominent portraitist during the first half of the nineteenth century. He is best remembered for his “porthole” portrait of George Washington, of which he produced some eighty versions. Enclosed within an illusionistic oval painted frame of cracked masonry, Washington gazes serenely into the distance. This is a heroic, idealized depiction of the first president of the United States that seeks to transcend the man’s actual, physical reality—thus combining portraiture with history painting. Peale’s understanding and appreciation of neoclassicism are evident in the austere quality of the face and the reference to classical ancient architecture. The painting also reflects the influence of the then current “sciences” of physiognomy and phrenology, which posited that an individual’s innate character could be read in facial features and head shape.

Learn more about this painting on the Terra Foundation website.


Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860)
George Washington, Porthole Portrait, after 1824
Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 29 3/16 in. (92.1 x 74.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.53

Early American Painting

John Lewis Krimmel (1786–1821)
Blind Man's Buff, 1814
Oil on canvas, 16 5/8 x 22 1/16 in. (42.2 x 56.0 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.82
John Singleton Copley (1738–1815)
Portrait of Mrs. John Stevens (Judith Sargent, later Mrs. John Murray), 1770–72
Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 in. (127.0 x 101.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2000.6
Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860)
George Washington, Porthole Portrait, after 1824
Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 29 3/16 in. (92.1 x 74.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.53
Edward Hicks (1780–1849)
A Peaceable Kingdom with Quakers Bearing Banners, c. 1829–1830
Oil on canvas, 17 5/8 x 23 5/8 in. (44.8 x 60.0 cm) . Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1993.7
Ammi Phillips (1788–1865)
Girl in a Red Dress, c. 1835
Oil on canvas, 32 3/8 x 27 3/8 in. (82.2 x 69.5 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.57
Erastus Salisbury Field (1805–1900)
Portrait of a Woman said to be Clarissa Gallond Cook, in front of a Cityscape, c. 1838
Oil on canvas, 34 3/4 x 28 3/8 in. (88.3 x 72.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2000.4
Samuel F. B. Morse (1791–1872)
Gallery of the Louvre, 1831–33
Oil on canvas, 73 3/4 x 108 in. (187.3 x 274.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.51
Washington Allston (1779–1843)
Lorenzo and Jessica, 1832
Oil on artist's board, 15 x 18 in. (38.1 x 45.7 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2000.3
Jonathan Adams Bartlett (1817–1902)
Portrait of Harriet, c. 1840
Oil on canvas, 28 1/4 x 23 13/16 in. (71.8 x 60.5 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.14
Thomas Sully (1783–1872)
Portrait of Blanch Sully, 1839
Oil on paperboard, 24 x 20 in. (61.0 x 50.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2000.2