New York City History, #39a


  39a.  Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827).  Portrait of Alexander Hamilton. Watercolor on ivory, (4.5 x 3.5 cm.), ca. 1780. -- Office of Art Properties (See fuller description below.)
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American portrait painter, naturalist, and patriot, Charles Willson Peale was a distinguished painter of American statesmen of the Revolutionary era; of George Washington alone, he painted some sixty portraits. This miniature of Hamilton (1755-1804) is thought to have been painted in 1780, the year of his marriage, at the instance of his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler. She is credited with embroidering the silk mat. At the time, Hamilton was serving as Washington's secretary and aide-de-camp. He studied at King's College in 1773 and 1774, but his education was interrupted by the American Revolution. The renamed Columbia College granted him an honorary master's degree in 1788.