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This Hall, located at the rear of the house, served as a trophy case for George Washington Parke Custis. George Washington Parke Custis was an avid hunter, beginning from the time of his youth at Mount Vernon. At Arlington Plantation, he reserved about 600 acres of virgin timberland in the western portion of his estate for hunting deer and other game. Custis was also a self-taught artist, and he is believed to have painted the three frescos found on the upper portion of the Hunting Hall walls, all hunting scenes. Two of the scenes might regarded as Virginia hunt scenes, but the third scene is distinctly different; it depicts a lion and tiger fighting. In recent years, the inspiration for this unusual fresco has been identified as a 1799 mezzotint engraving by James Ward (1769-1859), a noted English artist and member of the British Royal Academy who specialized in animal paintings.
Last updated: June 8, 2021