Folder 1 Shepard, George J. Formerly thought to be by Thomas Sully (1783-1872). [Portrait of General George Washington]; Pencil and crayon. Framed image: (13 5/8 x 11 ¾ in) (35 x 30 cm). 20th century. [Old number: No old number] Enlarge
Bust portrait of Washington turned slightly left. He is wearing a general’s jacket with a lace collar gathered at his neckline and epaulettes decorated with stars. He has a buttoned vest underneath his jacket; the jacket is colored gold and blue. Washington’s face is colored with pencil; there are wrinkles around his eyes and his long white hair is gathered at the nape with a blue ribbon. Included on reverse is a manuscript which states, “My dear Sir I have much pleasure in presenting you with this drawing Sincerely your friend Tho Sully. Oct 23 1860.” Mounted on the frame is an additional manuscript which states, “This will certifies that I have this day cleaned the drawing of the American General Washington I believe this drawing to be the work of the painter Thomas Sully London April 9th 1878 William Sharpless.” The drawing is mounted on what appears to be eighteenth century newspaper. Note: image not unframed for inventory.
Please see Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society Volume 42 page 224 and Volume 57 page 244. Sully’s signature on the reverse was deemed a forgery by John Hill Morgan (1870-1945) two years after it was presented to AAS in 1932 when he determined it was by the forger “Doc” Shepard; Morgan uncovered material regarding George J. Shepard and the resulting collection, “John Hill Morgan research files, 1922-1944” is currently at the Frick Art Reference Library.