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George Washington Portrait Set for NY Auction
An oil canvas of George Washington could become the most expensive American portrait ever sold at auction when it goes under the hammer later this week, auction house Christie's said on Tuesday.

The original 1779 painting by Charles Willson Peale is expected to fetch between $10 million and $15 million, the auctioneer said in a statement.

The canvas stands at over 8 feet high and depicts a portly and rosy-cheeked Washington as Commander of the Continental Army at Princeton, New Jersey.

"A painting of incredible national, historic and cultural significance, this portrait is poised to become the most expensive American portrait sold at auction when it goes on the block at Christie's on January 21," the company said. ?

The painting is one of only two paintings in a series of Washington portraits by Peale in private hands.

The other six are housed in such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Christie's added.