George Washington at Princeton

c. 1779
(American, 1741–1827)
Framed: 153 x 144 x 7 cm (60 1/4 x 56 11/16 x 2 3/4 in.); Unframed: 131 x 121.6 cm (51 9/16 x 47 7/8 in.)
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Did You Know?

Artist and scientist Peale directed the first dig of a mastodon skeleton in the US.


Because Peale served under General Washington and befriended him during the Revolutionary War, he was an ideal candidate to commemorate Washington's important early victory at Princeton, NJ. Here, in the quiet aftermath of battle, the general is accompanied by his horse and a groomsman, identified by some scholars as William Lee, a mixed-race enslaved man Washington forced to work as his personal assistant. Also present is a line of captured British redcoat soldiers that animates the background at left.

Peale produced several versions of this composition amid a rally of enthusiasm for the American cause. Whereas some were commissioned by American colonists—as in the case here—others were ordered by Washington's admirers in France, Spain, Holland, Cuba, and even England.
George Washington at Princeton

George Washington at Princeton

c. 1779

Charles Willson Peale, Workshop

(American, 1741–1827)
America, 18th century


Battle of Princeton

A Mastadon

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