Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

Fine family portrait of George Washington and family, with Pierre L'Enfant's map of the future Washington D.C. on the table, based upon a painting by Christian Schussele of Philadelphia and engraved by William Sartain.

The image depicts Washington with Mrs. Washington, her two grandchildren, and his longtime valet William Lee, an enslaved man who would be freed upon Washington's death the following year. 

Upon the table, the map laid out before Washington and his family depicts a map drafted under the direction of Pierre L'Enfant, which laid out the future District of Columbia, bounded by the Potomac River and the Eastern Branch (later the Anacostia River), which would become the future capital of the United States by Proclamation dated March 30, 1791.

L'Enfant presented the earliest draft map of the future City of Washington, D.C. to Washington on June 22, 1791.

Christian Schussele Biography

Christian Schuessele was an artist, painting genre subjects, landscapes, and portraits as well as historical scenes.  Schuessele also worked as a lithographer and taught drawing and painting.

Schuessele studied in Paris, before moving to Philadelphia in about 1848.  Schussele initially supported himself as a lithographer. He achieved recognition when his historical work Clear the Track (1854) was engraved by John Sartain (1808-1897), after which Schussele was able to concentrate exclusively on painting.

Schuessele exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he was a professor from 1868 to 1879. Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) was one of his students. He also exhibited at the Great Central Fair in Philadelphia in 1864, at the Boston Athenaeum in 1858 and 1868, and at the Brooklyn Art Association in 1872.