The artist, Edward Savage (1761-1817), started out as a goldsmith and later emerged as a self-taught painter and engraver. He visited London in 1791 and studied under Benjamin West and also spent time in Italy. Savage later became a proprietor of art galleries and a natural history museum in Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
In 1796, Edward Savage painted George and Martha Washington with their two wards, George Washington Parke Custis and Eleanor Parke Custis (grandchildren of Mrs. Washington by her first marriage). In the background a servant in the red-and-buff Washington livery waits in attendance. The map, to which Martha Washington points with her fan, is of the ‘Capital City,’ then being developed on the banks of the Potomac.
Savage made copper plate engravings of this painting in 1798, four of which were purchased by George Washington. One of these originals may be seen in the small dining room at Mount Vernon.
Edward Savage’s “The Washington Family” now hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC as part of the Andrew W. Mellon Collection.
This replica of “The Washington Family” hangs over the grand staircase at George Washington Inn. George Crabb, a local Sequim artist, painted this large (5′ X 7′) inverted reproduction for the Inn. An interesting fact was discovered in his research when the artist found out that the perspective in the original painting by Edward Savage terminates at George Washington’s heart. No doubt, this shows the strong affection for the father of our country.
For more photos see Port Angeles Vision.