The artist Charles Willson Peale may have painted this portrait of Joshua Barney in 1788 during one of Barney's frequent visits to Philadelphia that year. The image depicts a young Barney, twenty-nine years old, in a Continental Navy uniform.
Before his 1802 discharge from the French navy, Barney engaged the services of the French republic's court painter, Jean Baptiste Isabey (1767-1855), who specialized in miniatures. About 1800 Isabey rendered a watercolor on ivory (three-inch diameter) of Barney's likeness. This metal-framed image depicts Barney in the naval uniform of the French republic. On either side there is a faint hint of a line of ships on the horizon.