Rembrandt Peale sought to distill the essence of Washington’s character by drawing on a number of life-portraits to compose his famous “porthole portrait” of 1827. Dressed as a statesman, Washington is presented in a monumental setting.  The circular stonework frame, surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves (symbolic of strength and endurance), with the head of Zeus (father of gods and men) carved on the keystone, references depictions of the worthies of the classical world, as does the Latin honorarium, Patriæ Pater, or Father of the Fatherland. In this and other portraits, Washington, “first in war, first in peace,” embodied American strength and character.

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