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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12


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Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0150

Author: Neufville, Jean de
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-02-07

From Jean de Neufville

[salute] Sir

Agreable to Yoúr Excellencys permission, I took the Liberty to introdúce by those few Lines Monsr. Giraúd the painter who copied the greatest Genal. of this age for me,1 may he be favourd to procúre me the pourtret of the greatest American Minister in that of yoúr Excellency; it will add to the obligation yoúr Excellency conferred on ús.2 Begging leave to assúre your Excellency of the highest regards with which I have the honoúr to be sir! Yoúr Excellency’s most obed & humb servt.
[signed] John de Neufville
1. In 1780 John Trumbull completed and gave to Leendert de Neufville a portrait of George Washington done from memory. The following year Valentine Green issued an engraving in mezzotint of Trumbull’s work. Known as the “De Neufville Washington,” the portrait is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Theodore Sizer, The Works of Colonel John Trumbull: Artist of the American Revolution, rev. edn., New Haven, 1967, p. 81, fig. 90; Gustavus A. Eisen, Portraits of Washington, 3 vols., N.Y., 1932, 2:470–471, 586). Although no copy of Trumbull’s portrait has been identified, Giraud may have copied it for Jean de Neufville.
Neufville apparently presented JA with a portrait or print of Washington by Trumbull (from Neufville, 5 July 1782, Adams Papers). Similarly an inventory of the furnishings of the U.S. legation at The Hague completed in June 1784 includes an otherwise unidentified portrait or print of Washington (filmed at 14 May 1782, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 357).
2. There is no evidence that Giraud painted JA ’s portrait.