Possible Portrait of Hercules
Original Author: Attributed to Gilbert Stuart
Created: ca. 1795–1797
Medium: Oil on canvas

Possible Portrait of Hercules

This oil portrait of a black man wearing a toque is possibly an image of Hercules, an enslaved man who served as George Washington's head chef at Mount Vernon and the presidential mansion in Philadelphia. Hercules escaped from Mount Vernon on February 22, 1797, Washington's sixty-fifth birthday. The painting, which dates to the late eighteenth century, is attributed to the renowned portraitist Gilbert Stuart.