Home of George Washington, "The Father of His Country"
J. Wiess, American, active c. 1797
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After completing his second term as president and refusing a third, George Washington retired to Mount Vernon in 1797. Wiess marked the end of Washington's service to his country by depicting him standing on the porch in his Continental Army uniform as a golden sun sets over the Potomac River. The porch and the cupola on the roof were among the architectural alterations Washington made to the estate after inheriting it. The prominent weeping willow in the foreground did not exist on the grounds of Mount Vernon, but was painted in at a later date as a traditional symbol of mourning widely adopted after Washington's death in 1799.