|Artist||Ceracchi, Giuseppe (attributed)|
23 7/8 x 20 inches
|Credit line||Bequest of Mrs. Julius Heyward (Elizabeth Middleton)|
|Exhibition Status||Currently on view|
Italian sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi made two trips to the United States hoping to receive a congressional commission for a monument to George Washington. To this end, he modeled a series of busts after prominent Americans, including Washington. Unfortunately, the new nation was struggling with revenue difficulties and was not interested in funding the project. Any of Ceracchi's further hopes of private funding ended when he was implicated in an anti-Bonaparte plot and sent to the guillotine in 1801.
This colossal bust was purchased by Charleston artist John Izard Middleton around 1820. At the time the bust was in the studio of Antonio Canova, who used it as a model for his statue of Washington for the North Carolina Capitol.