Related page: Introduction
Under My Own Vine and Fig Tree, 1798
When Jean Leon Gerome Ferris set out to paint the life of George Washington, he paid careful attention to, and was moved by, the impressive building that had been Washington's home. In this depiction of the president with Nelly Custis, Washington's step-granddaughter, Mount Vernon is rediscovered as embodying solidity and permanence, ever visible in the landscape to those wise enough to look for it. By using as his title a Biblical phrase that was often cited by the general and colonial Virginians, Ferris acknowledged that the pursuit of virtue in a pastoral setting had been one of Washington's lifelong pursuits.
Image rights owned by the Virginia Historical Society. Rights and reproductions