This fictitious image of George Washington’s triumphal entry into New York on the prow of an ornate galleon recalls the allegorical tradition of history painting exemplified in Rubens’s grand series on the life of Marie de’ Medici in the Louvre Museum. The artist, Robert Lawson, was best known as an illustrator of such classic juvenile literature as Ferdinand the Bull (by Munro Leaf, 1936), and the Newbery Award winning Rabbit Hill, which he wrote and illustrated in 1945. Lawson also received the Caldecott medal in 1941 for a book he wrote on his family’s pioneer history.
This etching was commissioned by the George Washington Memorial Association for a portfolio of twenty images chronicling the life and leadership of The Nation’s first President, in honor of the bicentennial of Washington’s birth in 1932. Among the 20 artists featured in the portfolio, under the editorial direction of John Taylor Arms, were Childe Hassam, John W. Winkler and Arthur W. Heintzelman.