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Mount Vernon buys 1796 George Washington painting

Saturday - 2/9/2013, 1:40pm  ET

MOUNT VERNON, Va. (AP) -- George Washington's Mount Vernon estate will preserve a 1796 painting of the first president's family entertaining on their patio overlooking the Potomac River.

The artwork, "A View of Mount Vernon with the Washington Family," was painted by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. It was on loan to Mount Vernon since 2004 but was recently sent to auction. With help from an anonymous donor, Mount Vernon purchased the watercolor last month for $602,500.

Curator Susan Schoelwer tells The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/XtjD0G ) they were heartbroken at the thought of losing the painting. It's believed to be the only lifetime image of the first couple on their piazza at Mount Vernon.

It was displayed briefly in 2006, 2007 and 2008. It will go back on display next year.

The website Patch previously reported the purchase.

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Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com


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