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George Washington

John Trumbull

Oil on canvas, 12' x 18'

Commissioned 1817; purchased 1824



General George Washington resigned his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Army to the Congress, which was then meeting at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, on December 23, 1783. This action was of great significance in establishing of civilian rather than military rule, leading to democracy rather than dictatorship. Washington stands with two aides-de-camp addressing the president of the Congress, Thomas Mifflin, and others, such as Elbridge Gerry, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison. Mrs. Washington and her three grandchildren are shown watching from the gallery, although they were not in fact present at the event.


John Trumbull (1756–1843) was born in Connecticut, the son of the governor. After graduating from Harvard University, he served in the Continental Army under General Washington. He studied painting with Benjamin West in London and focused on history painting.


-Source: Architect of the Capitol

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Taken on May 3, 2009