22 Items in this Learning Collection

All Rights Reserved ()

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731-1802)

Accession Number

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731-1802)

Rembrandt Peale

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
oil on canvas

35 ⅞ in x 29 ⅛ in (91.12 cm x 73.98 cm);35 ⅞ in x 29 ⅛ in (91.12 cm x 73.98 cm);47 ¾ in x 40 ½ in (121.29 cm x 102.87 cm)

Credit Line
Bequest of Henry C. Lewis

Subject matter
Based on a portrait of Martha Washington by his father, Charles Willson Peale, in 1795, this is one of several posthumous portraits of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (June 2, 1731-May 22, 1802) painted by Rembrandt Peale in the 1850s. The stone oculus surrounding the sitter mirrors Peale’s “porthole portraits” of George Washington, which he framed in stone to underscore the subject’s monumentality and to serve as an allusion to the Roman Republic, whose ideals were continually invoked by the Founding Fathers.

Physical Description
Bust-length portrait of a woman with grey hair in a cream colored dress seated in a red chair with a view of the landscape to right of figure seen through an illusionistic stone oval window or oculus.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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women (female humans)

21 Related Resources

Kindergarten Tour: Family Portrait
(Part of: Visit UMMA: Curricular Tour Descriptions for Teachers)
Writing Activity: Portraiture and Point of View
(Part of: Writing + Art Enrichment Activities)
Fifth Grade: Picturing America
(Part of: Docent Curricular Tours)
Family Pictures Tour
(Part of: Docent Thematic Tours)
High School: Inspiration
(Part of: Docent Curricular Tours)
White Group Images
(Part of: Ann Arbor Public Schools English Language Arts Camp)
Activity : SP20 Young - HISTORY 260 
(Part of: Examples of Online Activities)
Unsettling Histories Docent Module
(Part of: Fall 2021 Docent Exhibition Packet)
Martha Washington
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 1st floor ➜ 103 (Marvin H. Davidson Gallery)