Charles Willson Peale, Washington as Colonel of the Virginia Regiment, 1772
Oil on canvas, 50 1/2 x 41 1/2 in.
Lee married Mary Custis, whose father G. W. P. Custis was the adopted grandson of George Washington. This portrait, the only image of Washington painted prior to the Revolutionary War, was inherited by Mrs. Lee. In 1861, when secession was imminent, Lee worried that Washington's "spirit would be grieved, could he see the wreck of his mighty labors." Lee cultivated a reserved, aloof demeanor that some contemporaries said was modeled on the "father of his country."
Washington and Lee University