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George Washington (1732–1799) became a Freemason in 1752. This portrait of him in Masonic regalia was commissioned by the pharmaceutical entrepreneur and Freemason, Henry Wellcome in 1899 to commemorate the centenary of his death. It was painted by the American artist Robert Gordon Hardie, who studied existing portraits of Washington before completing the commission. Washington’s pose is taken from a portrait by Gilbert Stuart in 1796, which is now at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D. C. George Washington was given his Masonic regalia by Adrienne de Lafayette, wife of the Marquis de Lafayette, a French revolutionary who fought for the Americans in the Revolutionary War (1775–1783). It is this regalia that Hardie painted Washington as wearing.
oil on canvas
H 239 x W 148 cm (E)
presented by Henry S. Wellcome to the United Grand Lodge of England, 1900
GEORGE WASHINGTON. PRESENTED BY HENRY S. WELLCOME. 1900'