George Washington portrait nets record $21 million

A full-length portrait of George Washington by artist Charles Willson Peale sold for a record $21.3 million on Saturday at Christie's auction house.

The 8-foot-tall oil painting was bought by dealer C.L. Prickett, presumably for a client, a Christie spokeswoman said.

The 1779 canvas depicts a portly and rosy-cheeked Washington as Commander of the Continental Army at Princeton, New Jersey. Washington later became the first U.S. president.

The sale broke the previous record of $8.1 million for an American portrait sold at auction. That portrait, of Washington painted by Gilbert Stuart, was sold in November by Sotheby's auction house.

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