President Washington

Washington Delivering His Inaugural Address

Washington Delivering His Inaugural Address, 1849.

On February 4, 1789, the newly formed Electoral College unanimously elected George Washington as President of the United States.  He served as President from 1789 to 1797. It was during his time as President that he sat for some of his most famous life portraits including a 1796 full-length portrait by Gilbert Stuart, known as the Lansdowne portrait because it was a gift commissioned for William Petty, 1st Marquis of Lansdowne (1737-1805) by Senator William Bingham (1752-1804) and his wife Ann (1764-1801) of Pennsylvania.  That same year, Stuart also painted a bust portrait of Washington, now called the Athenaeum portrait for the Boston library that acquired it after Stuart’s death. The portrait was one of Stuart’s most reproduced images and was the source for the image of Washington on the dollar bill.