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George Washington Waring

Tilyard, Philip
Place Made:
Baltimore Maryland United States of America
Date Made:
oil on canvas
HOA: 30; WOA: 25 1/4
Accession Number:
SITTER: George Washington Waring (1777-1858) was born in Prince George’s County, Maryland. He was a merchant. He served in Baltimore Hussars Company during the War of 1812. In 1819 he married Sarah Meriweather Dorsey of Ann Arundel County, Maryland. Waring is listed in Baltimore city directories as a merchant. The family lived at a house called Ellersley in Baltimore.

ARTIST: Philip Thomas Coke Tilyard (1785-1830) was born in Baltimore, the son of Thomas Fair William Tilyard (1754-1806) a painter and glazier, who had emigrated from England. Philip trained with his father and for a time offered “sign and ornamental painting” to the people of Baltimore. By 1814, he listed himself as a “portrait painter”; he is considered Baltimore’s first significant native painter.

In 1810 Philadelphia’s Thomas Sully visited Baltimore and Tilyard is said to have sought out his advice. While the extent of Sully’s assistance is unknown, it was apparently the only instruction received by the artist other than that given by his father. Of Tilyard, Robert Gilmore, Jr. wrote that he “was a common sign painter, but having a real taste for the art, he has taught himself portrait painting and has made some excellent pictures.”

Like many of his contemporaries in the booming city of Baltimore, he also tried his hand at business. Unfortunately, by 1822 his drygoods store had failed and he resumed painting. At his untimely death in 1830 he enjoyed considerable success through the patronage of prominent Baltimoreans.

FRAME: Original gilt frames with applied spandrels at corners.

RELATED WORKS: MESDA owns companion portraits of George Washington Waring and his wife Sarah Meriweather (Dorsey) Waring by Philip Thomas Coke Tilyard (MESDA acc. 2024.142-143).

DESCRIPTION: Painting, oil on canvas, of man facing half-left and seated in green painted chair. The man has a high foreheard, dark hair, dark blue eyes, ruddy complexion, with dark coat mounted with gray buttons, white stock and yellow vest, wears a red and pearl pin on his neck cloth. The painting is signed in the lower left corner.

Credit Line:
Purchase Fund