Mrs. David Orr Edson, circa 1960s Mr. A. Robert Faesey, her grandnephew By descent in the Faesey family, until 1990 Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York Private Collection, Virginia (purchased from the above, 1990)
Washington and Lafayette at Mount Vernon depicts the two Revolutionary War heroes, with Martha Washington seated nearby, on the piazza of Washington's Virginia estate, Mount Vernon. A larger version of this composition is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and currently on longterm loan to Mount Vernon.
Condition report courtesy of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. (2/10/2014):
This painting has been restored probably in the last 25 years. It is in presentable condition in many respects. Retouches in the sky in the upper left have slightly discolored and will need some attention, but the frame and the remainder of the picture are very presentable. There is no abrasion to the paint layers. The profiles of the leaves against the sky and the many details throughout the figures and animals are all very well preserved. The glazes in the clothing and architecture are similarly in good condition.
Under ultraviolet light, the few isolated spots of retouching in the upper left can be seen and some pentimenti around the legs and tail of the two dogs on the left side have been carefully retouched. Although the faces and hands Washington and Lafayette read very darkly under ultraviolet light, no real retouches can be identified here. There are a few spots of retouching around the head of Washington addressing pentimenti and one spot above the forehead of Jefferson in the architecture. The only face which seems to have received restorations is the seated young woman in green on the right side; there are a few dots in her face addressing some slight weakness to the paint layer. There is a structural restoration to a thin break in the canvas running through the windows and shutters on the right side above the heads of the seated figures. Much of the picture reads strongly under ultraviolet light, but none of this corresponds to restoration.
Given the fact that the work is complex and painted by two hands, the condition is very good. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.