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Inscription

reverse in pencil: Houdon's / Mask of Washington / Presented by / E. Leutze / From this he painted / "Washington Crossing / the Delaware" / now in the Bremen / Kunsthalle / Bremen, Germany[1]

Inscription Notes

[1] The inscription refers to Leutze's first version of Washington Crossing the Delaware, painted in 1849, but damaged in a studio fire the following year, restored, and acquired in 1863 by the Bremen Kunsthalle; it was completely destroyed in a bombing raid in 1942. The larger of the two surviving versions of the painting (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) was begun in 1850 and finished by October 1851. If this inscription on the mask is accurate, the mask would presumably have been cast by 1849.

Provenance

Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze [1816-1868], Dusseldorf, New York, and Washington;[1] gift or bequest to his friend, Charles K. Stellwagen [1817-1908], Washington; by inheritance to his son, Edward J. Stellwagen [1854-1932], Washington;[2] gift June 1909 to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington; acquired 2014 by the National Gallery of Art.

Exhibition History
2004
Figuratively Speaking: The Human Form in American Art, 1770-1950, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 20 November 2004 - 23 May 2005, unpublished checklist.
2006
A Son and his Adopted Father: The Marquis de Lafayette and George Washington, Mount Vernon Estate, Virginia; Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania; New-York Historical Society, 27 October 2006 - 3 February 2008 (shown only at Mount Vernon).
2008
The American Evolution: A History through Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 1 March - 27 July 2008, unpublished checklist.
2013
American Journeys: Visions of Place, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, 21 September 2013 - 28 September 2014, unpublished checklist.
Bibliography
1980
Stehle, Raymond Louis. A Portrait of George Washington at Fifty Three. Washington, 1980: 224.