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^ i B R ^^
I . ■.■...(
« ri .
• • V
CHAR LK.s V :W !• ^ •
TTaUO^, QMA OaJAW YH aSTWIAH
^XA 3 Kill JHT 10 JOOH'Je 3JaY
PAINTED BY WALDO AND JOUETT
A BRIEF SKETCH
OF HIS LIFE
TO WHICH IS ADDED
A CATALOGUE OF HIS WORKS
Prepared for the Committee on
the Bi-Centennial Celebration
of the Founding of Yale College
JOHN F.^WEIR, N.A., M.A.
DIUCTOR OP THE YALE SCHOOL
OP THE PIHB ARTS
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
COPYRIGHT, 1 90 1
BY JOHN F. WEIR
OCTOBER, 1 901
, 2. 544
- 2 8
THE following sketch of the life and
works of John Trumbull has been
prepared at the request of the Com-
mittee on the Bi-Centennial Celebration of the
Founding of Yale College, in connection with
an exhibition of his collected paintings, as a
feature of that celebration, and to ** emphasize
the position of Yale University as the principal
custodian of Trumbuirs historical works/' The
** Trumbull Gallery/' since 1831, when it came
into the possession of Yale College, constitutes
one of the chief treasures of the University, con-
taining as it does a series of historical paintings
commemorative of important events of the
American Revolution, including a collection of
portraits of prominent persons of that time,
painted from life. The artist served for a brief
period as aide-de-camp to General Washington,
in the first year of the Revolution, and in the
succeeding year he served as deputy adjutant-
general under the command of Major-General
Gates. In these positions, as well as in his sub-
sequent official and social relations, he was
brought into familiar intercourse with many of
the most prominent actors in the War of Inde-
pendence, being himself a son of Governor Jon-
athan Trumbull, Sr., of Connecticut. Through
his prominent connections, therefore, both in
Europe and America, the life of Trumbull
has peculiar interest, while his works have be-
come a precious legacy to the succeeding gen-
The principal sources of information con-
sulted in the preparation of the following mon-
ograph were the ** Autobiography, Reminis-
cences and Letters of John Trumbuir*; Dun-
lap's "History of the Arts of Design"; Tuck-
erman's "Book of the Artists," "Artist-Life,"
and "Memorial of Greenough" ; John Durand's
papers on Trumbull, reprinted from the
American Art Review; papers in "The
American Journal of Science '' and other peri-
odicals ; and certain manuscript letters of Trum-
bull, together with the various catalogues of his
works, published in 1831, 1835, 1847, ^^5^
JOHN TRUMBULL: Sketch of His
Life ..... 3—46
DESCRIPTIONS OF PAINTINGS:
CATALOGUE OF HISTORICAL PAINT-
INGS, PORTRAITS, MINIATURES,
AND OTHER WORKS OF ART,
BY JOHN TRUMBULL . 66-79
Frontispiece: John Trumbull: . Title
Painted by Waldo and Jouett.
Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 1793: . 4
Painted by John Trumbull.
Mrs. Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., 1793 : 6
Miniature by John Trumbull.
Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., 1792: . 10
Miniature by John Trumbull.
Benjamin West: .... 14
Painted by Sir. Thomas Lawrence.
Thomas Jefferson : .... 22
From Trumbull's ^^Declaration of Indepen-
John Adams, 1792: .... 24
From a miniature by Trumbull.
President Washington, 1793: . 26
John Jay, 1793: .... 32
Attributed to Trumbull.
Painted by Trumbull.
Mrs. John Trumbull :
Painted by Trumbull.
Bust of Trumbull : .
By Ball Hughes.
Battle of Bunker's Hill:
Painted by Trumbull.
Death of Montgomery: .
Painted by Trumbull.
Sortie from Gibraltar : .
Painted by Trumbull.
Declaration of Independence :
Painted by Trumbull.
General Washington :
Full-length portrait by Trumbull.
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis :
Painted by Trumbull.
Resignation of Washington :
Painted by Trumbull.
Oil Sketch by Trumbull for The
Battle of Princeton:
Copy of Certificate of the Order
OF the Cincinnati : .
TRUMBULL begins his autobiography
with an account of the origin of the
family name, connecting the New
England Trumbulls with the TurnbuUs of Scot-
land, whose heraldic device is three bulls' heads,
with the motto, Fortuna favet audaciy said to
have originated in the rescue of the king of
Scotland from the attack of a bull, by a young
peasant, who was rewarded with an estate and
coat of arms. Trumbull traces his immediate
descent from John Trumbull, of Rowley, Essex
Co., Mass., who came from Cumberland, or
Lancashire, England, and was made a freeman
in Boston, in 1640, whose son John removed
to Suffield, Conn. One of the sons of the latter,
Joseph, settled in Lebanon, and this person was
the artist's grand£ither, born in 1 679. His son,
Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., father of the artist, was
born at Lebanon in 1710, and was graduated ^
from Harvard College in 1727, eventually be-
coming Governor of Connecticut. He was the
only Colonial Governor who held office during
the Revolution. Washington in his difficulties
and perplexities at a critical period of the war,
when seeking reinforcements, referred in a letter
to Governor Trumbull as " Brother Jonathan,"
thus originating a term since humorously em-
ployed in personifying the nation.
The artist's mother. Faith Trumbull, daugh- H
ter of John Robinson, minister of Duxbury,
Mass., was the great-granddaughter of John
Robinson, who led the Pilgrim Fathers out of
England, and was their pastor until they sailed
from Holland for the new world, in 1620.
John Trumbull, the artist, was born at Leb- ^
anon on the 6th of June, 1756. He was the
youngest of six children, and for the first nine
months of his life was subject to almost daily
convulsions caused by compression of the brain,
owing to the overlapping of the bones of the cra-
nium. By the mother's untiring exertions these
were eventually reduced to their proper junc-
tion in the sutures, and the child quickly re-
At the time that John was old enough to
JONATHAN TRUMBULL, SR.
begin his studies, there was at Lebanon an ex-
cellent school kept by Nathan Tisdale, a gradu-
ate of Harvard College and a good scholar. The
boy John showed great facility in acquiring
knowledge, particularly languages, and "read
Greek at six years of age*': this, however, he
says, was but the knowledge of a parrot — mem-
orized sounds and signs. At the age of twelve
he was qualified to enter college, for he had read
Eutropius, Cornelius Nepos, Virgil, Cicero,
Horace and Juvenal, in Latin; the New Testa-
ment and Homer's Iliad in Greek ; and was thor-
oughly versed in Geography, ancient and mod-
ern. He had also read considerably in History,
and attained some proficiency in Mathematics,
including geometry, trigonometry, navigation
and surveying. He entered Harvard College at
the age of fifteen, in the middle of the third,
or Junior year, and was able to master his
studies so easily that he regarded this as an idle
period of his life.
In a letter from oneof his tutors, William Knee-
land, to Governor Trumbull, dated Cambridge,
14 July, 1 772, the following comment is made:
'' I find he [John] has a natural genius and dis-
position for limning. As a knowledge of that
art will probably be of no use to him I submit
to your consideration whether it would not be
best to endeavor to give him a turn to the study of
perspective, a branch of mathematics, the knowl-
edge of which will at least be a genteel accom-
plishment, and may be greatly useful in future
life/' To this the Governor replied : " I am
sensible of his natural genius and inclination for
limning ; an art I have frequently told him that
will be of no use to him/' While at Harvard
College he filled his leisure hours, in part, with
visits to a family of Acadian exiles, then resid-
ing in Cambridge, and from them he learned to
speak the French language fluently, defraying
the expense out of his pocket money. He had
already manifested a strong liking for art, and
while at Harvard he searched the library for
works relating to the Fine Arts, discovering
Brooke Taylor's "Jesuits* Perspective^ the princi-
ples of which he mastered, copying all the dia-
grams. But what enlisted his keenest interest
while in college were several portraits by Cop-
ley that hung in the philosophical room, where
he "listened with pleasure to Dr. Winthrop's
lectures." A collection of Piranesi's prints from
Roman ruins was also his delight. He spent
many of his spare hours, while an undergradu-
ate, in making copies of paintings, one of which
MRS. JONATHAN TRUMBULL, SR.
PAINTED AT LEBANON, I 793
was commended by Copley. In July, 1773, he
says, he "graduated without applause, for he
was not a speaker/' As he was the youngest
boy in the class, having entered in an unusual
way, his timidity kept him in the background
and he formed few intimate acquaintances ; in-
deed, only one, Christopher Gore, of a lower
class, whose portrait, now in the Yale collection,
Trumbull painted at a later day, when Gore was
Governor of Massachusetts.
On his return to Lebanon he made his first
essay in original composition, in a picture of
Paulus Mmiliiis at the Battle of Canrue; prepar-
ing his own colors and inventing the other re-
quisites for this first attempt. Though crude
and unskilful in design and workmanship this
picture is a kind of germ of his future perform-
ances. His old friend, Tisdale, having been
disabled by a stroke of paralysis, Trumbull was
induced to take charge of his school of seventy
or eighty pupils, including "children lisping
their A. B. C.'s, and young men preparing for
college," some of whom, he says, were older
In the summer of 1 774 the angry discus-
sions between Great Britain and her colonies
began ; Trumbull writes : " As the low growl-
ing of distant thunder announces the approach
of the tempest, so did these discussions give no-
tice that a moral storm was at hand, men be-
gan to fear that these questions would soon be
referred to the decision of arms ... I caught
the growing enthusiasm. . . . My father was
governor of the colony, and a patriot, and of
course surrounded by patriots, to whose ardent
conversation I listened daily/* He formed a
small company from among the young men of
the school and the village, and drilled them.
Of these youthful companions several became
valuable officers in the war which soon fol-
With the bursting of the storm at Lexing-
ton, General Joseph Spencer formed, "as if by
magic,*' the first regiment of Connecticut troops,
of which John Trumbull was made adjutant.
While packing his things preparatory to the
march of the regiment to Boston, his mother,
who was assisting him, said, " My son, when I
recollect the sufferings of your infancy, with
* Among them wu Roger Alden, who rose to the rank of major
and died at West Point. He was the father of Colonel Bnuiford R.
Alden, afterward commandant of the Corps of Cadets at the Military
Academy. It was from the estate of Colonel Alden*8 widow that Yale
acquired the fiunous Belgian wood-carvings that now form part of the
treasures of the Art School.
your present feebleness of constitution, and anti-
cipate the hardships and dangers to which you
are about to be exposed, I hardly dare hope
that we shall ever meet again ; however, in all
events, I charge you so to conduct yourself, that
if I ever see you again it may be with the pride
and delight of a mother/'
The regiment reached the vicinity of Boston
early in May, and was stationed at Roxbury, in
full view of the enemy's lines at the entrance to
Boston. ^* The entire army," he writes, " if it
deserved the name, was but an assemblage of
brave, enthusiastic, undisciplined country lads;
the officers, in general, quite as ignorant of mili-
tary life as the troops, excepting a few elderly
men who had seen some irregular service among
the provincials under Lord Amherst.**
On the 17th of June, Trumbull writes, " I
was out at daybreak, visiting the piquet-guard of
the regiment posted in full view of Boston and
the bay behind it, when I was startled by a gun
fited from a sloop of war, lying at anchor be-
tween the town and Litchmere's point, about
where the Cambridgeport bridge now is. . .
It was followed by another, apparently from
the Somerset, sixty-four, which lay between
the north end of Boston and Charlestown. It
soon became evident to us in Roxbury that some
movement was making in that quarter, but we
knew not what. . . As the day advanced, the fir-
ing continued to increase, and our anxiety to know
the cause was extreme, when at length, near noon,
we learned that a detachment from Cambridge
had during the preceding night taken post on
the hill behind Charlestown and were engaged
in throwing up a work. They had been dis-
covered by the ships at daybreak and fired upon.
. . ^* It was about three o'clock when the firing
suddenly increased, and became very heavy and
continuous : with the help of glasses, the smoke
of firearms became visible along the ridge of
the hill, and fire was seen to break out among
the buildings of the town, which soon en-
veloped the whole in flames. We could ascer-
tain by the receding of the smoke on the ridge
of the hill that our troops were losing ground,
but we had no correct information of the
result of the Battle of Bunker's Hill, until late
** Not long after that memorable day," he
continues, "General Washington arrived and
assumed command of the army. A few days after
his arrival I was told by my eldest brother, the
commissary-general, that the commander-in-
JONATHAN TRUMBULL, JR.
chief was very desirous of obtaining a correct
plan of the enemy*s works in front of our posi-
tion, on Boston Neck ; and he advised me (as I
could draw) to attempt to execute a view and
plan, as a means of introducing myself (probably)
to the favorable notice of the General." This
he did, and as a result it led to his promotion
to the position of second aide-de-camp on the
general's staff. The following is copied from
General Washington's order-book : " July 27,
1775. John Trumbull, Esq., being appointed
Aid de Camp to his Excellency the Commander
in Chief, is to be obeyed as such.''
Trumbull was soon after made Major of
Brigade; and when, in June, 1776, General
Gates was ordered to take command of the
"Northern Department," then vaguely defined,
but supposed to include Canada, he appointed
Trumbull deputy adjutant-general, with the
rank of Colonel; and Trumbull accompanied
him to Albany and Ticonderoga in that capacity.
General Gates had been instructed to appoint
his own deputy adjutant-general and deputy
quartermaster-general, so that Trumbull's ap-
pointment by Gates was official and quite in
order. But it was not until seven months later,
namely, February, 1777, that John Hancock,
President of Congress^ forwarded to him his
commission, bearing date September 12, 1776.
Considering the discrepancy between the date of
this commission from Congress, and the date of
his appointment by General Gates, under which
appointment he had actually served in the capacity
of deputy adjutant-general, Trumbull regarded it
as derogatory to his military pride to accept the
commission tendered him, and he returned it
with a brief note pointing out the discrepancy.
This terminated Trumbull's military career
so far as his official standing was concerned. At
a later day, in 1778, when a project was formed
for the recovery of Rhode Island from the
British, Trumbull offered his services to General
Sullivan as a volunteer aide-de-camp and his
offer was accepted. When the enterprise failed
he returned to Lebanon, and, as he expressed it,
'' resumed his pencil/' It was undoubtedly to
his own and to his country's advantage that his
military career was checked at this early day ;
nevertheless his military experience, brief though
it was, may be considered an important factor
in his preparation for the commemorative works
that afterward were to engage his powers as an
artist ; for he painted the Battle of Bunker^ s Hill
and the Death of Montgomery with the under-
standing of one not unfamiliar with the spirit of
his themes. ^^^^
Later in the year, 1 777 ^ he went to Boston,
^'that he might pursue his studies in art to
greater advantage/' There he rented a studio
which had been built by Smibert, and found in
it several studies made by that artist from cele-
brated pictures in Europe; these he proceeded
to copy, having found that Copley had gone
abroad and that there remained no one in Bos-
ton who could give him instruction. During
the winter of 1777 and '78 he says, "a club
was formed of young men fresh from college,
among whom were Rufus King, Christopher
Gore, William Eustis, Royal Tyler, Thomas
Dawes and Aaron Dexter — ^all of whom became
distinguished.'' The club met in Trumbull's
room, '^ regaling themselves with tea instead of
wine and discussing literature, politics and war."
While in Boston he became acquainted with
John Temple, afterwards knighted and made
consul-general of Great Britain in New York,
who seemed to be regarded by both parties as a
neutral, and was occasionally permitted to pass
from one side to the other. He married a
daughter of Governor Bowdoin, and had high
connections in England. As Mr. Temple
was acquainted with Benjamin West, in London,
he strongly urged Trumbull to go abroad and
study under that artist ; and in fact he paved the
way for this after his return to England.
In May, 1780, Trumbull sailed for Nantes
" in a French ship of twenty-eight guns," and on
his arrival spent a brief time in Paris where he
became acquainted with Dr. Franklin and his
grandson. Temple Franklin; also with John
Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams, ^* then
a boy of fourteen.'* Franklin gave him a letter
of introduction to West, and he set out for Lon-
don. He was kindly received, and installed as a
pupil, and there he met Gilbert Stuart. On
Trumbull's first essay Mr. West pronounced him
" evidently intended by nature for a painter."
He had hardly begun his studies under West
when, on November 15, 1780, the news ar-
rived in London of the treason of Arnold and
the death of Major Andr6. Trumbull says:
" Major Andr6 had been the deputy adjutant-
general of the British Army and I a deputy ad-
jutant-general in the American Army;" it
seemed proper, therefore, that Trumbull should
be taken into custody and a warrant was im-
mediately issued for his arrest.
When Mr. West heard of this he went im-
PAINTED BY SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE
WAOSWORTH ATMEN/tMJM, HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT
mediately to Buckingham House and gained an
audience with the King, who said, ^^ I am sorry
for the young man, but he is in the hands of the
law, and must abide the result — I cannot inter-
pose. But/' he added, " tell Mr. Trumbull that
in the worst possible event of the law, his life
shall be safe." Trumbull remained in prison
for seven months. Mr. West supplied him with
painting materials and loaned him his own fine
copy of a Correggio, of which Trumbull pro-
ceeded to make a facsimile, which he finished
in prison during the winter of 1780-81. He
was finally released on bail, on condition that he
should leave the Kingdom within thirty days and
not return until after peace had been declared.
Mr. West and Mr. Copley became his sureties.
He immediately left for Holland, where he was
joined by Mr. Temple. At Amsterdam he found
his letters, among them a packet from his father
giving him authority and instructions to negoti-
ate a loan in Holland for the State of Connecti-
cut ; but this, on consultation with Mr. Adams,
he found was impracticable.
Trumbull's description of his voyage home,
which was exceedingly hazardous, is told in his
autobiography with considerable literary power.
On his return he became a contractor for army
supplies, and in this capacity he was at Wash-
ington's headquarters at New Windsor on the
Hudson, during the winter of 1782—83. And
here, he writes, ** we received the news of the sign-
ing of the preliminary articles of peace, and an
end was thus put to all further desultory pur-
suits. It was now necessary for me to deter-
mine upon a future occupation for life/'
There was a commercial side to Trumbuirs ^
character, and he now considered proposals for
engaging in mercantile affairs. While in college
his father had wished him to enter the ministry ;
now he wanted him to enter the legal profes-
sion. On his expressing his decided preference
for art, ^' dwelling on the honors paid to artists
in Greece and Athens,'* his father replied, ** Yes,
my son, but you appear to forget that Connecti-
cut is not Athens." Nevertheless he now reached
a final decision, and thence on his career is prin-
cipally that of an artist.
He again sailed for London in January, r
1784, and went immediately to Mr. West, in
whose home he remained as a pupil. His father
had given him a letter to Edmund Burke thank-
ing him for the kindness shown his son while
in prison. Burke advised him to study architec-
ture, for, said he, " you must be aware that you
belong to a young nation which will soon want
buildings, and these must be erected before the
decorations of painting and sculpture will be re-
quired." He counselled Trumbull to study
architecture thoroughly and scientifically, in
order to qualify himself "to superintend the
erection of these buildings," adding — " decorate
them also, if you will."
Burke being the friend of Sir Joshua Rey-
nolds, and learning of Trumbull's predilection
for history and his intention to study with West,
did not regard this preference with cordiality.
But Trumbull resumed his studies in West's
studio, and in the evenings drew at the Academy.
He made a copy of West's picture of the Battle
of La Hague, and this task, he says, was of the
greatest importance to him.
In the autumn of 1785 he was invited by
the Rev. Mr. Preston, of Chevening, in Kent,
to pass a week at his house. The library of
Mr. Preston (which was eventually bequeathed
to the library in Philadelphia) "was rich in
works relating to the arts," and these Trumbull
studied attentively. Here, he says, he " made
his first attempt at the composition of a mili-
tary scene, taken fi-om the War of the Revolu-
tion; it was a small sketch in India ink, on
paper, of the death of General Frazer at Bemus's
He continued his studies under West, and at
the Academy, and '^ began to meditate seriously
the subjects of national history, events of the
Revolution,'* which, he adds, "became the great
object of my life." The death of General War-
ren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, and of Gen-
eral Montgomery in the attack on Quebec, were
first decided upon. These, he says, " were the
earliest important events in point of time, and I
not only regarded them as highly interesting
passages of history, but felt that in painting them
I should be paying a just tribute of gratitude to
the memory of eminent men who had given
their lives for their country."
These pictures were both painted in West's
studio. On one occasion as a party of Mr.
West's friends were assembling to dine with the
artist, the party including Sir Joshua Reynolds,
the latter on entering the studio hastily went for-
ward to the picture that stood on the easel, Mr.
West having placed Trumbull's Battle of Bunker^ s
Hilly then nearly completed, where it could be
seen to advantage and in a good light. Sir
Joshua, mistaking it for West's performance,
praised it highly ; to which the host replied.
" You mistake^ Sir Joshua^ this is not mine ; it
is the work of this young gentleman, Mr. Trum-
bull/* Sir Joshua, Trumbull says, was some-
Mr. West watched the progress of these two
pictures with great interest and encouraged the
young artist to persevere in the work of the his-
tory of the American Revolution, recommend-
ing that he should have the series engraved, and
explaining to him all the details necessary for
this. Through Mr. Poggi, the publisher, the
scheme was projected, but it was found that
there was no engraver of the first class in England
who was then disengaged. The Battle of Bunk--
er^s Hill when completed was sent to Professor
Mtlller, at Stuttgart, who undertook the work.
Mr. C. Edwards Lester, in his "Artists of
America,*' begins his sketch of Trumbull with
the following : " In a letter written by Goethe
to Schiller, from Stuttgart, the 30th of August,
1 797, he says, * I found Professor Mueller work-
ing at a portrait of Graff, painted by himself.
He is also busy with the death of a general, and
that an American, a young man who fell at
Bunker's Hill. The picture is by an Ameri-
can, Trumbull, and has merits of the artist, and
£ciults of the amateur. The merits are very
characteristic and admirably handled portrait
faces — the faults, disproportion between the dif-
ferent bodies and between their parts. It is
composed relatively to the subject right well,
and for a picture in which there must be so
many red uniforms, is very judiciously colored;
yet at first view it makes a glaring impression,
until one gets reconciled to it on account of its
merits. The engraving makes a very good
whole and is in its parts excellently done. ' *'
This is of interest as coming from the great
German poet, who evidently was impressed with
the work. In this picture Trumbull shows him-
self to be an expert draughtsman. The incident
is well chosen, the action is at its height and the
characters are all absorbed in it ; the arrange-
ment is admirable.
It is commonly supposed that Trumbull wit-
nessed the battle as herein depicted. He saw
the smoke of the action from Roxbury, and from
that distance, four miles away, considering the
topography of the intervening country, he only
knew of the progress of the fight from the smoke
and noise of musketry, and the burning of the
village of Charlestown. His picture is the more
remarkable, therefore, as a product of his im-
aginative genius working upon carefully collated
facts gathered from various sources, from per-
sons actually engaged in the fight, and from
sketches made on the spot at a later day. That
this picture has the character of an impression
received by an eye-witness is a triumph of art,
and the historic accuracy of the work is matched
by the technical skill with which it is executed.
That Trumbull should have produced this mas-
terpiece at the beginning of his career as an
artist is only another form of evidence, often re-
marked of greater masters, that genius seems to
require no preparation, that it is bom with its
powers already matured.
Commenting on the character of the aca-
demic training in art then in vogue, Mr. John
Durand remarks : ** This method may be charac-
terized as the ' old-master ' method. It consisted
in drawing from the antique and copying pic-
tures executed by the old masters, on the theory
that such a course of study enabled a pupil to
obtain proper notions of color and design, as
well as superior conceptions of beauty and the
ideal. This theory in England was held to be
orthodox. The practice of the Renaissance ar-
tists, together with a study of the forms of Greek
art, was the right thing ; natural currents of feel-
ing, coupled with direct study of Nature,
through which feeling expressed itself, was not
regarded as the true source of artistic develop-
ment. Certain literary authorities, moreover,
with minds more affected by erudition than by
natural sensibility, better judges of the old wine
of art than the good qualities of the new,
established a standard of criticism for the public
and amateurs, until it got to be a fashion to con-
sider all art that was not ' high art ' as not worth
looking at. An appeal to Nature for inspira-
tion and expression, independently of such au-
thorities, was consequently never thought of. . .
Trumbull was brought up, as the saying is, ac-
cording to the old-master method. Fortunately
for him, as well as for Washington AUston, who
pursued art under the same influences and at the
same time, but who was less emancipated from
its thraldom, they had genius, and were original
in spite of the method.'* Trumbull's drawings
from the nude-life, made at the Academy, show
a careful study of the living figure, with " a ten-
dency to invest such subjects with ideal interest.''
Trumbull had met Thomas Jeflferson in
London, in 1785, and writes of him in his au-
tobiography : " He had a taste for the fine arts
and highly approved my intention of preparing
myself for the accomplishment of a national
FROM THE "DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE"
work. He encouraged me to persevere in this,
and kindly invited me to Paris to see and study
the fine works there and to make his house my
home during my stay." Trumbull availed him-
self of the invitation and was kindly received.
He had with him his two paintings, the Battle of
Bunker's Hill and the Death of Montgomery^ and
these met Jefferson's warm approbation. It was
during this visit that he began his Declaration of
Independence^ "with the assistance of JeflFerson's
information and advice.**
TrumbuU was well received by the principal
artists of Paris, by Le Brun and David particu-
larly — the latter, he says, becoming his warm
and efficient friend ; also by Houdon, the sculp-
tor, and others. His journal, in Paris, gives a
detailed account of his life there, principally re-
ferring to his study of works of art. He " found
David, in his studio in the old Louvre, at work
upon his Horatii receiving their swords from their
father^'* upon which he comments as follows:
" Figures large as life, the story well told, draw-
ing pretty good, coloring cold." Of Le Brun's
pictures he says: "The coloring is all that is
bad, and after seeing such works as Rubens,
quite insufferable. . . While they have infinite
merit as compositions, and are great in point of
drawings they are, as colored pictures, bad as
possible/' This indicates Trumbuirs independ- '^
ence of judgment, while it suggests that he had
already formed his mind in matters of art. His
own pictures drew forth much praise from the
artists of Paris, and among others the Count de
Moustier, Marquis Cubiere, M. D'Hancharville
and M. Boileau, called to see them and praised
In November, 1786, Trumbull returned to
London, his brain, he writes, "half turned by
the attention which had been paid to my paint-
ings in Paris, and by the multitude of fine things
I had seen/* He resumed work upon other sub-
jects of the history of the American Revolution,
"arranging carefully the composition for the
Declaration of Independence^ and preparing this for
receiving the portraits,*' as he might " meet with
the distinguished men who were present at that
illustrious scene/* He adds, " Mr. Adams, in
the summer of 1787, having taken leave of the
Court of St. James, and combed the powder
out of his hair, I took that opportunity to paint
his portrait in the picture.**
While staying with Mr. Jefferson in Paris, /^
Trumbull painted the portraits of the French
officers who appear in his picture of the Sur-
PAINTED IN 1792, WHEN VICE-PRESIDENT
render of Comwallisy and he says he regards these
as the best of his small portraits. He returned
again to Paris in 1789, and witnessed the be-
ginning of the French Revolution — the de- ^^
struction of the Bastile, etc., and " on one occa-
sion attended the Marquis de La Fayette in a
successful attempt to calm a mob of workmen
in the Fauxbourg St. Antoine." Soon after
this the Marquis invited him to breakfast at an
early hour, and alone, and disclosed to Trumbull
" his views of the situation and the hopes he enter-
tained, in common with M. Condorcet and the
Duke de la Rochefaucault, of gaining for France
a constitution and form of government resem-
bling that of England, *' into the details of which
he entered at length, and desired Trumbull on
his return to America to communicate this to
Washington (Autobiography, pp. 1 51-153). It
was at this time that Mr. Jefferson offered Trum-
bull the position of Secretary, which the latter de-
clined in an interesting letter from London,
dated June 11, 1789. He excuses himself for
declining Mr. Jefferson's offer by stating his
views of the responsibilities upon which he has
entered in connection with his profession : " To
preserve and difRise the memory of the noblest
actions; to impart to future generations the
glorious lessons of human rights, and of the
spirit with which these should be asserted and
supported ; and to transmit to posterity the per-
sonal resemblance of those who have been great
actors in those illustrious scenes, are objects that
give dignity to my profession, peculiar to my
situation from having borne personally a humble
part in the great events I am to describe. No
other artist now living possesses this advantage,
and no one can come after me to divide the
honor of truth and authenticity, however easily
I may hereafter be exceeded in elegance. I feel
therefore some pride in accomplishing a work,
such as has never been done before, and in which
it is not easy that I should have a rival."' After
mentioning the delays that had impeded the
publishing of his prints, he concludes : " The
most serious reflection is, that the memory and
enthusiasm for actions however great, fade daily
from the human mind; the warm attention
which the nations of Europe once paid to us,
begins to be diverted to objects more nearly and
immediately interesting to themselves."
In November, 1789, Trumbull returned
home and found the Government of the United
States organized under the new constitution with
General Washington as President. He says, "I
lost no time in communicating to him the state
of political affairs^ and the prospects of France^
as explained to me by M. La Fayette ; and hav-
ing done this, proceedi&d immediately to visit my
family and friends in Connecticut. My excel-
lent father had died in 1785, at the age of sev-
enty-five. My brother, and my friend. Colonel
Wadsworth, of Hartford, were members of the
house of representatives in Congress, which was
to meet in New York early in December.
With them I returned to New York for the
purpose of pursuing my work for the Revolu-
tion; all the world was assembled there, and I
obtained many portraits for the Declaration of
Independence^ Surrender of Comwallis^ and also
that of General Washington in the battles of
Trenton and Princeton^ and in April, 1 790, I of-
fered my subscription for the first two engrav-
ings, from the pictures of Bunker* s Hill and ^ue--
bee J which had at last been contracted for with
Mr. MuUer of Stuttgart in Germany, and Mr.
Clements of Denmark. I obtained the names
of the president, vice-president, ministers, sev-
enteen senators, twenty-seven representatives, and
a number of the citizens of New York. In
May I went to Philadelphia, where I obtained
some portraits for my great work, and a num-
bcr of subscribers. I returned to New York in ^
July, where I was requested to paint for the
corporation a full-length portrait of the Presi-
dent. I represented him in full uniform, stand-
ing by a white horse, leaning his arm on the
saddle; in the background a view of Broadway
in ruins, as it then was, the old fort on the
termination ; British ships and boats leaving the
shore, with the last of the officers and troops of
the evacuating army, and Staten Island in the
distance. The picture is now in the common
council-room of the City Hall. Every part of
the detail of the dress, horse, furniture, etc., as
well as the scenery, was accurately copied from
the real objects.'*
In September he went to New Hampshire,
and, he writes : " Obtained the heads of several
statesmen and military officers for my great
work, and in Boston received a handsome addi-
tion to my list of subscribers. I returned
through Connecticut to Philadelphia, to which
place Congress had adjourned from New York.
In February I went to Charleston, S. C, and
there obtained portraits of the Rutledges, Pinck-
neys, Middleton, Laurens, Heyward, etc., and a
handsome addition to my list of subscribers. On
the 1 7th of April I sailed for Yorktown in Vir-
ginia, and there made a drawing on the spot
where the British Army, commanded by Lord
Cornwallis, surrendered in 1 78 1 ; thence rode to
Williamsburg, and obtained a drawing of Mr.
Wythe for the Declaration; thence to Rich-
mond; thence to Fredericksburg, and obtained
a drawing of General Weeden for the Battle of
Trenton ; thence to Georgetown, where I found
Major L' Enfant drawing his plan for the city of
Washington ; rode with him over the ground on
which the city has since been built; where the
Capitol now stands was then (May, 1791) a
On his return to New York Trumbull was
commissioned to paint for the corporation a
whole-length portrait of General Clinton, which
is now in the common council-room of the City
Hall. The background of this picture repre-
sents British troops storming Fort Montgomery,
in the Highlands (where the General com-
manded) and the burning of two frigates in the
North River; this background was one of his
In the meanwhile he was pushing his sub-
scription-list for the engravings from his pic-
tures, and the following letter was written by
General Washington to the Marquis de Lafay-
ette in furtherance of his project for securing
subscribers in France:
"Philadelphia, Nov. 21, 1791.
" My Dear Sir — ^Mr. John Trumbull, with
whom you are acquainted, is engaged in paint-
ing a series of pictures of the most important
events of the Revolution in this coimtry, from
which he proposes to have plates engraved. I
have taken peculiar satisfaction in giving every
proper aid in my power to a subscription here
supporting his work, which likewise has been
patronized by the principal people in this coun-
" In the hope of meeting the patronage of
the French nation, to whose honor as well as
that of America, this plan is directed, Mr.
Trumbull informs me that he has ordered a
subscription to be opened in Paris; and the
object of this letter is to engage you to support
the subscription in that city, and in other parts
of the nation, where it may be offered.
"I should not, however, do justice to Mr.
Trumbull's talents and merits, were I not to
mention his views and wishes on this occasion.
His pieces, so far as they are executed, meet
the applause of all who have seen them; the
greatness of the design, and the masterly execu-
tion of the work, equally interest the man of
capacious mind, as the approving eye of the
connoisseur. He has spared no pains in obtain-
ing from the life, the likenesses of those charac-
ters, French as well as American, who bore a
conspicuous part in our Revolution ; and the suc-
cess with which his eflForts have been crowned,
will form no small part of the value of his
"To you, my dear sir, who know Mr.
Trumbull as a man and as an artist, it would
perhaps have been hardly necessary to say so
much as I have done on this occasion; but I
could not in justice say less of him, when I be-
lieve that in his profession he will do much
honor to the liberal art of painting, as well as to
this his native country.
" I cannot conclude this letter without con-
gratulating you most sincerely on the King's
acceptance of the constitution presented to him
by the National Assembly, and upon the happy
consequences which promise to flow to your
country, as well as to mankind in general from
that event. The prayers and wishes of the
friends of the human race have attended the
exertions of your nation ; and when your affiurs
shall be completely settled under an energetic
and equal government^ the hearts of good men
will be gratified ; and no one will rejoice in your
felicity, and for the noble and disinterested part
you have acted, more than your sincere friend
and truly affectionate servant,
In 1792 Trumbull was again in Philadel-
phia, and there painted the full-length portrait
of General Washington, which is now in Yale
University. Of this portrait he remarks : " The
best certainly of those which I painted, and the
best, in my estimation, which exists, in his he-
roic military character."
In 1793 Trumbull visited Boston, going by
way of Newport and Providence, and " obtained
drawings of Mr. EUery, Colonel Olney, Judge
Howel, etc. Wherever I went," he says, " I
offered my subscription-book, but wretched now
was the success, and rapidly decreasing the en-
thusiasm for my national work." The French
Revolution now wholly absorbed the attention
of the public.
" In the meantime," he writes, " the ag-
gressions of Great Britain upon our commerce
became intolerable, and the question of peace or
war with her came to be seriously agitated. The
President determined to try the effect of nego-
tiation, and John Jay, Chief Justice of the Uni-
ted States, was appointed envoy extraordinary to
Great Britain. He did me the honor to offer
me the position of secretary, and I accepted the
proposal with pleasure/' In May, 1794, they
While in London, Trumbull received from
Mr. Pickering, then Secretary of State, a com-
mission and instructions appointing him '' agent
for the relief and recovery of American seamen
impressed by Great Britain." At the same time
he received notice from the commissioners ^' ap-
pointed by the two nations to carry into execu-
tion the seventh article of the late treaty, relat-
ing to the damage done to the commerce of the
United States by irregular and illegal captures by
British cruisers,'' naming him as '< the fifth com-
missioner." The others were Christopher Gore
and William Pinckney on the part of the Uni-
ted States, and John Nichol and Dr. Swabey on
the part of Great Britain. Trumbull was to rep-
resent both nations. He declined the first ap-
pointment in favor of the second, and thence on,
for some years, his time was largely absorbed by
the duties attending the work of this commission.
During a recess^ in July, 1797, he visited
Stuttgart, to ascertain how Professor MuUer was
getting on with the engraving of the Battle of
Bunker^ s Hill. He " found the plate admirably en-
graved, and requiring very little additional work/'
On his return to Paris he was "received
with civility by M. Talleyrand, and invited to
dine with the minister, meeting Madame de
Stael, Lucien Bonaparte, Count Lorigny, and
others." During the dinner Madame de Sta6l
attempted to engage him in conversation on the
subject of American affiiirs, but the minister cut
her short with, " But, Madame de StaSl, no-
body talks politics here."
When the Commission for the settlement of
claims against Great Britain dissolved, after a
seven years' residence in London Trumbull re-
turned to America in 1 804. On the 4th of July,
he says, he dined with the Society of the Cin-
cinnati, meeting many of his old comrades, and
also General Hamilton and Colonel Burr. He ^
remarks, " The singularity of their manner was
observed by all, but few had any suspicion of the
cause. Burr, contrary to his wont, was silent,
gloomy, sour; while Hamilton entered with
glee into all the gaiety of a convivial party, and
even sang an old military song/' Only a few
rn^B iiTf* nT r~a «imi imn
days passed^ however, when "the wonder was
solved by that unhappy event which terminated
the life of Hamilton.'
Finding Gilbert Stuart established as a por-
trait painter in Boston, Trumbull decided to set-
tle in New York, and here he was employed to
paint for the city government iuU-length por-
traits of Mr. Jay and General Hamilton, the lat-
ter from the bust by Cerracchi. These, together
with those of General Washington and Gover-
nor Clinton, were hung in the common-council
rooni in the City Hall. At this time he also
painted portraits of President Dwight, of Yale
College, and Stephen Van Rensselaer ; these are
both in the Yale collection. c ^a ^
/.^ fin 1808 Trumbull again sailed for London,
where he was kindly received by Mr. West and
many other old friends. After four years of
fruitless effort to establish himself there in his
profession, he was about to return to America
when, in 1812, war was declared against Great
Britain. With the restoration of peace Trum-
bull returned home, and settled in New York
City. His friends, particularly Judge Nichol-
son, became interested in furthering his project
for painting a series of historical pictures for the
nation, the carefriUy-prepared studies, notes,
sketches, etc., for which had been gathered with
such diligence. Judge Nicholson accompanied
the artist to Washington in furtherance of this
plan, and interested several members of Con-
gress in the project, notably Mr. Timothy Pit-
kin of the House of Representatives. Some of
the studies were put in the hall of the House,
and in one of the debates on the subject '' John
Randolph was eloquent in commendation of the
work," insisting that Trumbull should be em-
ployed to execute the whole series of eight
commemorative pictures. (See Tuckerman's
"Memorial of Greenough," p. 148.) A reso-
lution was finally passed, giving authority to the
President to employ Trumbull to execute four
pictures for the National Capitol. The choice
of subjects, and the size, was left to the Presi-
dent, Mr. Madison, to determine. The sub-
jects chosen were the Declaration of Independ--
ence^ the Surrender of Burgoyne^ the Surrender of
Lord Comwallis^ and Washington Resigning bis
Commission. The price was to be |8,ooo for
each painting ; the size 12x18 feet, with figures
as large as life. Trumbull was eight years in
executing these works, and in 1824 went to
Washington to superintend the placing of them
in position, in the rotunda of the Capitol.
With the completion of this commission
TrumbuU's debts were paid, and he " began life
anew/' He was now sixty-eight years of age;
his powers were by no means what they once
were. It may be a slip of the pen when he
says in his autobiography that he was now past
seventy. He had lost his wife, and a sense of
loneliness now crept over him, for he had no
children ; but, he adds, '' my hand was steady,
and my sight good, and I felt the strength of
life within.'' But too long a period had elapsed
before his powers were enlisted in this com-
memorative work for the nation; he was not
himself aware that the delay had been fatal to
their best exercise. His thoughts now turned
in his art to religious subjects, and later to re-
peating in a size of 6x9 feet, the subjects he
had already executed for the National Capitol.
With his declining years he began to con-
sider what he should do with his collection of
historical studies, portraits and miniatures, which
still remained in his possession. He first thought
of Harvard College, as being well able to afford
the purchase; but eventually they became the
property of Yale, Trumbull receiving as an equi-
valent a life-annuity of $ i ,000, which he con-
tinued to draw for twelve years, or until the
time of his death. The indenture was drawn
up by President Day, on the 1 9th of December,
1 8 3 1 9 in the name of the President and Fellows
of Yale College. To the number of pictures
specified in the original list, Trumbull added
many others by subsequent gifts, most of which,
however, were the productions of his later years,
when his lamp lacked oil.
During his residence in New York Trum-
bull was active in prosecuting his profession and
in giving instruction in the Academy over which,
for a time, he presided. An association had
early been formed in New York "for promot-
ing the Fine Arts,'* of which Chancellor Liv-
ingston was the first president. For a consider-
able period the institution was sustained with
some vigor, but it finally lost its vitality, and in
1 816 had nearly ceased to exist. During
that year, De Witt Clinton, who was then
president of the association, originated and per-
fected a plan by which the association was re-
vived under the name of " The American Aca-
demy of Fine Arts.'* He resigned the presi-
dency, and at his nomination Trumbull was
elected to fill the chair. Dunlap, who seems to
have borne Trumbull ill-will, and who in his
'* History of the Arts of Design '' takes no pains
PAmTED BY JOHN TRUMBULL
to conceal this, intimates that the election of
Trumbull gave great dissatisfaction; but appar-
ently there was no ground for this charge, and
Trumbull continued to fill the president's chair
until the formation of " The National Academy
of Design/' in 1825, with Samuel F. B, Morse
It is hardly to be expected that the popular
estimates of the time could do Trumbull justice,
and yet he was himself the means of promoting
a respect for art, more conspicuously than any
other artist of his day. At the time when he
was producing his three or four principal works,
at the beginning of his career — ^works which
have made his name illustrious — the arts were
held in light esteem in this country, if not
through ignorance, perhaps from necessity.
Trumbull strove to make his works popular by
means of engravings, executed in the best man-
ner, and sold at a moderate price ; but the pro-
ject £dled, so far as yielding him any adequate
money return is concerned.
In a MS. letter in the Yale Library, ad-
dressed to Thomas Jefferson, October i, 1823,
when he was delivering the engraving of the
Declaration of Independence^ Trumbull writes :
'< I have the pleasure of saying that not only has
the engraving been finished with great beauty,
but the printing has been executed with uncom-
mon success. It is delightful to me, that after
the lapse of so many years, this work which I
meditated, and you assisted me to arrange, at
Chaillot, in the year 1786, is at last completed.
Rarely does it occur that two individuals, ad-
vanced as we then were on the road of life, re-
main to see the completion of a favorite project
at the end of thirty-seven years. The event
was great beyond all others in the history of
man; the actors in it were men who not only
by that act, but by the consistent and undeviat-
ing patriotism of their subsequent conduct de-
serve to live in the memory of mankind to the
end of time ; and I thank God that I have pos-
sessed (to use the beautiful language of Dr.
Johnson) ^ Calmness of mind, and steadiness of
purpose ' to complete this memorial of such
men and such an act. May I not, my dear sir,
without excessive vanity, say with Horace,
^Monumentum exegi aere perenniusy will not my
name live, under the shadow of their glory/* V"
There is this to be said of Trumbull: he be-
lieved fully in the dignity of his profession; he
was uncompromising in his own attitude and in
his demands of others with regard to this ; and
he was always accorded a high respect by per-
sons of distinction. In temperament he was
high-strung, impetuous often, and exceedingly
sensitive. He had his enemies, but the shaft of
malice never penetrated his knightly shield; he
was a gentleman under all circumstances — ^by
birth^ by education, and by natural instinct. He
gave, perhaps, too much thought to matters for-
eign to his profession and of comparatively little
consequence in view of his acknowledged merits
as an artist. His military experience was brief
and unimportant — save as it aided to equip him
for his commemorative works.
As to his art, Trumbull's life divides into ^^
three distinct periods: the first, from 1786 to
1 797, is marked by the execution of those bril-
liant works, widely known through engravings,
namely, the Declaration of Independence^ the Battle
of Bunker^ s Hill^ the Death of Montgomery^ and a
considerable collection of miniature portraits, in
separate frames and others included in his Surren-
der of Comwallis. To these may be added his
Sortie from Gibraltar^ his full-length portrait of
Washington^ and perhaps half a dozen other
portraits painted at this time. The larger part
of his best works are in the collection at Yale
University. The paintings executed between
1786 and 1797 alone give Trumbull his place in
art ; upon these works his reputation rests. The
second period, from 1797 to 1824, covers his
later residence of seven years in London, and his
longer residence in New York City, where he
established himself as a portrait painter. This
period is marked by an entire change of style,
especially in his subject pictures, which gener-
ally were of religious or literary themes, some-
what in the style of Benjamin West. It was
during the latter part of this second period that
Trumbull painted his four large pictures for the
National Capitol, of which John Durand says:
" No interest attaches to them as works of art."
The third period, from 1824 to his death in
1843, includes numerous pictures of various
kinds executed in his old age, nearly all of which
should have been destroyed — notably the replicas
of his earlier historical works, now in the
Wadsworth Athenaeum at Hartford.
It may be seen from this that Trumbull's
reputation as an artist rests almost exclusively
upon works executed between 1785 and 1797.
The examples are few, but their merit is great —
great enough to have made his name illustrious
in the annals of American art. It is to the en-
graver principally that Trumbull owes his wide
BUST OF TRUMBULL
BY BALL HUGHES
VALE SCHOOL OF THE FINE AllTS
reputation, for those only who have seen his ear-
lier works at Yale, and the few important por-
traits in the City Hall in New York, can form
a just estimate of his merits as a painter. The
decline of his power is already foreshadowed in
the general composition of his surrenders of Bur-
goyne and Comwallis. When the first great im-
pulse which vitalized his art had spent itself, or
when the motive that first enlisted his ardent
sympathies had become a memory, his clear^ight
was dimmed, and his art became only a faint
echo of his earlier achievements. John Durand
remarks: "Colonel Trumbull's artistic career
may be considered as closed on the execution of
his large pictures for the National CapitoL As
an artist he can be thoroughly appreciated only
through his works at New Haven/* Scattered
here and there are a few fine portraits — one,
of " an artist,'* in the Wadsworth Athenaeum at
Hartford, and one of his nephew, John M. Trum-
bull, painted in London, now in Minneapolis,
are among his best. He painted rapidly, " av-
eraging five sittings to a head.'*
There are five portraits of Trumbull: one
painted by himself in 1833, and engraved in his
memoirs ; two by Waldo and Jouett,— one of
these is in the Yale School of the Fine Arts ; a
small full-length by Twibill, now in the posses-
sion of the National Academy of Design ; one
in the possession of Mrs. Benjamin Silliman, 3d ;
and one painted by Gilbert Stuart, owned by
William Forbes Morgan, of New York. The
portrait now in the Yale School of Fine Arts
was engraved by A. B. Durand for the " Na-
tional Portrait Gallery/' A miniature of Colonel
Trumbull, by Robertson, " exists somewhere in
England/' A bust of Trumbull, by Ball Hughes,
is in the Yale Art School at New Haven ; and
there was a medal of him issued by " The Amer-
ican Art Union/'
In closing his sketch of Trumbull, published
in "The American Art Review," Mr. Durand
says : " Such were the men who laid the founda-
tion of American character. I can only add, in
conclusion, that Trumbull the artist is worthy to
be named as the peer of his great friends and
contemporaries, Washington, Jefferson and Frank-
lin, and is entitled to be associated with them in
the minds and memories of his countrymen."
In a letter from Professor Benjamin Silli-
man, Sr., to Mr. Lester, written in 1 846, from
New Haven, he says: "Colonel Trumbull
wrote most of his autobiography in my house,
to which he was invited by Mrs. Silliman,
who was his niece. . • . He remained four
years in our family. He then returned to
New York, to be near his physician. Dr. Wash-
ington, and there remained until his death,
November lo, 1843, ^' '^^ ^8^ ^^ eighty-
eight. By his own request his remains were
brought to my house, whence his funeral pro-
ceeded to the College Chapel, where an appro-
priate and feeling historical discourse was de-
livered by the Rev. Professor Fitch. Eight of
our principal citizens were bearers, the students
and citizens forming a procession to the stone
tomb, beneath the Trumbull Gallery, where his
remains were laid beside those of his wife. . .
His long and varied life, abounding in changes,
and passed among the great men of the time,
furnished him with a rich fund of historical
anecdotes. . . . His conversational powers were
extraordinary. . . . His veneration of Wash-
ington was very great; he regarded him as
the greatest and best of men. Many letters of
Washington, some of them long, and all of them
parental and affectionate, are among his papers.'*
When Mr. Augustus Russell Street erected V
upon the College Square a large and costly
building for the accommodation of the School
of Fine Arts, the remains of Colonel Trumbull
were removed and deposited in a suitable recep-
tacle in the foundation beneath that end of the
large gallery in which his collection of pictures
is now placed, and which will remain a fitting
memorial of the man. A marble slab in the
basement, immediately over the grave, bears the
following inscription : " Col. John Trumbull :
Patriot and Artist : Friend and Aid of Washing-
ton : lies beside his wife beneath this Gallery of
Art: Lebanon 1756-New York 1843.'' ^^
inscription is also cut on the stone pier outside,
immediately above the grave.
DESCRIPTIONS OF PAINTINGS
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER'S HILL:
THE DEATH OF MONTGOMERY: AND
THE SORTIE FROM GIBRALTAR
IN a catalogue prepared by Colonel Trumbull in con-
nection with an exhibition of his pictures in the
Gallery of " The American Academy of Fine Arts," in
Chambers Street, New York City, in 1 83 1 , he writes
of the Battle of Bunker's Hill. " The painting repre-
sents the moment when (the Americans having expended
their ammunidoh) the British troops became completely
successful and masters of the field. At the last moment
of the action. General Warren was killed by a musket
ball through the head. The principal group represents
him as expiring — z soldier on his knees supports him,
and with one hand wards off the bayonet of a British
grenadier, who, in the heat and fury natural at such a
moment, aims to revenge the death of a favorite officer
who had just fidlen at his feet. Colonel Small (whose
conduct in America was always equally distinguished
by acts of humanity and kindness to his enemies, as by
bravery, and fidelity to the cause he served) had been in-
timately connected with General Warren — saw him fall,
and flew to save him. He is represented seizing the
musket of the grenadier to prevent the fatal blow, and
speaking to his friend — it was too late ; the General had
barely life remaining to recognize the voice of friend-
ship; he had lost the power of speech, and expired with
a smile of mingled gratitude and triumph. Near him
several Americans, whose ammunition is expended, al-
though destitute of bayonets, are seen to persist in a re-
sistance obstinate and desperate, but fruitless. Near this
side of the painting is seen General Putnam, reluctantly
ordering the retreat of these brave men ; while beyond
him a party of the Amencan troops oppose their last
fire to the victorious column of the enemy. Behind
Colonel Small is seen Colonel Pitcairn of the British
Marines, mortally wounded, and falling into the arms
of his son, to whom he was speaking at the fatal mo-
ment. General Howe, who commanded the British
troops, and General Clinton, who, toward the close of
the action, offered his service as a volunteer, are seen
behind the principal group. On the right of the paint-
ing, a young American, wounded in the sword hand
and in the breast, has begun to retire, attended by a
faithful negro; but seeing his general fall, hesitates
whether to save himself, or, wounded as he is, to return
and assist in saving a life more precious to his country
than his own. Behind this group are seen the British
column ascending the hill — grenadiers, headed by an
officer bearing the British colors, mounting the feeble
entrenchments ; and more distant, the Somerset ship-
of-war (which lay during the action between Boston
and Charlestown) ; the north end of Boston, with the
battery on Cop's Hill ; and the harbor, shipping, etc.,
etc. No part of the town of Charleston is seen ; but
the dark smoke indicates the conflagration.''
The lines of the composition are suggesti\re of the
whirl and rush of the action, in the spirit of which the
figures are all absorbed. The expression of the dying
general is remarkable for its realistic truth, as is that of
every principal actor in the scene. The touch of the
artist is skilful, and the coloring good — ^perhaps some-
what improved by the lapse of time, which has had the
effect of toning down the '' glaring effect '* of the red
uniforms noticed by Goethe.
In his paper on John Trumbull, reprinted from the
American Art Review^ Mr. John Durand writes of this
picture: '* Variety of character, distinct personalities,
each individual animated by a different impulse, every
countenance expressing truthfully and powerfully the
sentiment peculiar to each, the rush of an attacking
force dri^ng back through superior discipline a motley
but equally courageous crowd of defenders, all blended
together without confusion in the tumult and excite-
ment of battle, show a rare command of artistic resources
and great dramatic ability. The leading idea is one of
humanity — ^the attempt of a British officer. Colonel
Small, to save the life of General Warren. This inci-
dent, the energetic action of General Putnam on the
left, ordering a retreat of the American forces, the sym-
pathetic expression of the old soldier who is supporting
General Warren on his knees, and lastly, the pallid
features of the dying hero, form special lexamples of
Colonel Trumbull's pictorial skill. This is the ideal
he aimed at, an ideal which makes modern fine art ex-
plicable on the same theory as ancient art : while the
latter displays a limited range of emotion, the former
gives with equal fidelity to nature a series of emodons
which were never dreamt of by the ancients. As to
composition, which term, applied to plastic art, means
the logical value and dispositions of forms to convey
ideas, the Battle of Bunker* s Hill is as masterly and
original as any work of a similar kind extant/^
The Death of Montgomery ^ at the storming of Que-
bec, was painted by Trumbull in the studio of Benja-
min West, at the same time as his picture of the Battle
of Bunker* s Hilly and it is hardly less vital and admirable
as a work of art The central group, including the ex-
piring general, who has just been struck by a bullet and
falls back into the arms of an officer, is executed with
surprising skill. The touch is crisp, sure, and direct ;
the drawing is fiiultless and the color admirable. The
foreshortened features of the dying officer with the head
thrown backward, the body gradually sinking to the
ground, has an indescribable expression of death, trans-
fixing the form and rendering the body inert. The
representation in this, as in the death of Warren, is re-
markable for its realism.
In his catalogue of 183 1, Trumbull writes : ''That
part of the scene is chosen where General Montgom-
ery commanded in person ; and that moment, when by
his unfortunate death, the plan of the attack was en-
tirely disconcerted, and the consequent retreat of his
column decided at once the fate of the plan and of such
of the assailants as had already entered the works at
another point. The principal group represents the
death of General Montgomery, who, together with his
two aids-de-camp. Major McPherson and Captain
Cheesman, fell by a discharge of grapeshot from the
cannon of the place. The general is represented as
expiring, supported by two of his officers and sur-
rounded by others, among whom is Colonel Campbell,
on whom the command devolved, and by whose order
a retreat was immediately b^;un. Grief and surprise
mark the countenance of the various characters. The
earth covered with snow — trees stripped of their foliage
— the desolation of winter, and the gloom of night,
heighten the melancholy character of the scene." Mr.
Durand writes of this picture : '* Dramatic power and
truth of expression characterize this composition, as
well as the Battle of Bunker* s Hilly while in coloring it
is superior." From it was engraved a large print by
Clements of Denmark.
\ The Sortie from Gibraltar was repeated five times
by Trumbull, in various sizes. The large and fine en-
graving by Sharpe has made this picture widely known.
Trumbull says of his various renderings of this subject:
The first effort '^ was a small picture on a cloth four-
teen inches by twenty-one, on which I carefully drew
and painted my figures from nature." This picture
he presented to Mr. West, in acknowledgment of his
great kindness to him. Mr. Durand says, ^^ Finding
that he had made a mistake in the color of the Span-
ish uniform, which he supposed to be white and red,
he began the subject anew on a canvas twenty by thirty
inches, the uniform being painted, as it should have
been at first, blue and scarlet." This picture now be-
longs to the estate of the late John A. Burnham, of
Boston. It had been taken from England to Rome
by Lady Asburton, and there exchanged for other
works of art, and came into the possession of Mr. Mc-
Pherson and was returned to England. Of this picture
Trumbull made the following minute in his memoran-
dum-book : '^ Portraits from life : intended for the en-
graver: 20x30 inches: finished 1788, and sold in 1803
to Sir Francis Baring for five hundred guineas.*'
Among the same memoranda is the following ref-
erence to the large picture, six by nine feet, of the same
subject, in the possession of the Boston Athenaeum,
but now deposited in the Boston Museum of Art :
^^ . . Finished in April, 1789, and exhibited at Spring
Gardens the following month. . . ." ** For this
picture I was offered and refused 1,200 guineas.'' It
was in 1828 sold to the Boston Athenaeum for $5,000.
Lawrence posed for the dying Spaniard. Of another
but smaller picture of the same subject. Professor Sil-
liman, Jr., says in a note (1882) : ^^ I am told it is now
in Guild Hall, London." There are two in Philadel-
phia — one at the Academy of Fine Arts, and the other
in the possession of Mr. J. M. Fox.
This picture had a great reputation and drew a large
number of visitors when exhibited in London, perhaps
this was largely due to the fact that it contained life-
like portraits of certain prominent officers of the British
army. In composition it is greatly inferior to either the
Battle of Bunker's Hill or the Death of Montgomery. 1 1 is
somewhat melodramatic in action and is poor in color,
while the body of troops breaking through the stockade,
which forms a large mass of shadow on the left, is ill con-
ceived ; but the portrait heads are all admirably painted.
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
THIS picture is the most important of Trambuli's
works, not only from its great historical inter-
est as a unique pictorial record of that great event and
for the authentic portraits therein brought together, but
also because of its artistic merits. The three pictures
that mark Trumbull's most brilliant achievement as an
artist, are the Declaration of Independence^ the Battle cf
Bunker* s Hilly and the Death of Montgomery ; these three
pictures may be said to be Trumbull's masterpieces,
and it is the opinion of artists that they are properly
In 1848, the sculptor Horatio Greenough wrote :
'^ I believe I am speaking the sense of the cognoscenti^
when I say that the Declaration of Independence has
earned the respect of all who have watched the devel-
opment of American Art, and the admiration of those
who have tried their hand at wielding a weighty and
difficult subject. I admire in this composition the skill
with which Trumbull has collected so many portraits in
formal session, without theatrical effort in order to en-
liven it, and without falling into bald insipidity by ad-
hering to trivial fact. These men are earnest, yet full
of dignity ; they are firm yet cheerful ; they arc gentle-
men ; and you see at a glance that they meant some-
thing very serious in pledging their lives; their fortunes,
and their sacred honor/'
In a letter to Thomas Jefferson, bearing date of
December 28, 18 17, Trumbull writes concerning the
enlargement of this work for the National Capitol :
'^ The picture will contain portraits of at least forty-
seven members • • • for the faithful resemblance of
thirty-six, I am responsible, as they were done by my-
self from the Life, being all who survived in 1791 " —
when he began his studies for this picture. '^ Of the
remainder," he adds, ''nine are from portraits done by
others. One, General Whipple, of New Hampshire,
is from memory; one, Benjamin Harrison, of Virginia;
is from description aided by memory." The portrait
of Mr. Adams was painted in London ; that of Mr.
Jefferson in Paris ; Mr. Hancock and Samuel Adams
in Boston ; Mr. Rutledge in Charleston, S. C; Mr.
Wythe at Williamsburg, Va.; Mr. Bartlett, at Exeter,
N. H., etc., etc.
It is said that Trumbull carried the small canvas
now in the Yale School of Fine Arts, in his carriage; in
a receptacle made for holding it, while in search of the
original signers whose portraits he painted fi'om life
wherever he could find them, in various parts of the
country. How &r he did this directly upon the can-
vas, or from pencil studies, is uncertain; for the tech-
nical execution of the heads in the original picture bears
no trace of their having been painted under different
lights, or at different times, with the exception of three
or four on the extreme left of the composition, which
evidently were painted in a later day, after Trumbull
had lost his crisp, accurate, and spirited touch.
The assemblage of these variously executed por-
traits in a single harmonious composition, adjusted to
the color scheme and the requirements of the perspec-
tive, presented a problem exceedingly difficult to man-
age. Within the limits of historic truth and the require-
ments of art Trumbull has succeeded in making his
composition interesting by skilful groupings. He
says : *^n order to give some variety to the composi-
tion, I found it necessary to depart from the usual
practice of reporting an act, and made the whole com-
mittee of five advance to the table of the president to
make their report, instead of having the chairman rise
in his place for the purpose ; the silence and solemnity
of the scene offered such real difficulties to a pictur-
esque and agreeable composition as to justify this de-
parture from custom and fact. The room is copied
from that in which Congress held its sessions at the
time — such as it was before the spirit of innovation
laid unhallowed hands upon it, and violated its venera-
ble walls by so-called modern improvement^*
John Durand, the translator of Taine's works on
Art, says: "The portnuts of Richard Henry Lee,
George Clinton, Samuel Adams, Robert Morris,
George Clymer (the smallest, and an inimitable head),
with those of the group standing before Hancock —
John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston,
Jefierson and Franklin — are comparable to the finest
limning of Meissonier. • . On comparing the heads of
Lynch, Chase, Rush and Stockton (executed at a later
day) with those above mentioned, the difference in
style is so plain as to make it evident, even to an un-
practised eye, that the hand had lost its cunning/*
In his own account of this work Trumbull says:
" To preserve the resemblance of the men who were
the authors of this memorable act, was an essential
object of this painting. Important difficulties pre- ,
sented themselves at the outset; for although only ten
years had elapsed since the date of the event, it was
already difficult to ascertain who were the individuals
to be represented." He questioned " whether he should
regard the fact of having been actually present in the
room on the 4th of July, as indispensable;" or should
he ^' admit those only who were in favor of, and reject
those who were opposed to the act ; " and where a
person was dead, and no authentic portrait could be
obtained, should he admit ideal heads? These were
questions," he says, ''on which Mr. Adams, and Mr.
* Jeffisrson were consulted, and they concurred in the
advice, that with regard to the characters to be intro-
duced, the signatures of the original act . . . ought to
be the guide." That portraits should be admitted
likewise '' of those who were opposed to, and of course
did not sign, as well as those who voted in favor of the
Declaration, and did sign it ; particularly John Dick-
inson of Delaware . . . who was the most eloquent
and powerful opposer of the measure ; not indeed of
its principle, but of the fitness of the time, which he
considered premature." Mr. Jeffisrson and Mr. Adams
also recommended that where it was impossible to
obtain a likeness, either from the life, or from some
authentic portrait of the person, in case of death, the
^' artist should by no means admit any ideal represen-
tation, lest, it being known that some such were to be
found in the painting, a doubt of the truth of others
should be excited in the minds of posterity ; and that,
in short, absolute authenticity should be attempted as
far as it could be obtained/* Thirteen of those who
were present are not represented in the picture, as there
were no likenesses to be obtained of them.
The small picture, now in Yale University, is a
priceless possession. Historically it is a unique pic-
torial record of that great event, in the sense of its be-
ing the original picture from which the larger repro-
ductions were copied, and was executed when Trumbull
was at the height of his powers. The large picture, in
the Capitol at Washington, and the later replica in the
Wadsworth Athenseum, at Hartford, are as if executed
by another hand. That in the Capitol at Washington
Greenough pronounced inferior to the original in color
and effect, and ^^ having a chalky, distemper-like tone,
which is very unpleasing." (Memorial of Greenough,
It should be said of Trumbull's treatment of this
momentous event, with its serious and exalted motive,
that the artist's mind, in his conception of it, is well on
the plane of the moral action : the picture is conceived
from a noble and patriotic point of view ; and we feel
that the artist who has presented to us this striking
work, was in character and feeling himself a patriot and
moved by an exalted sentiment. He resorts to no ex-
pedients of artistic cleverness to heighten the dramatic
interest ; but rather values the simplicity of a scene,
which, in the light of history, was to have grave and
In choosing the Declaraiion of Independence and the
Battle of Bunker*s Hill as the two most memorable
events of the Revolution, TrumbulPs first impulse
when he executed the smaller pictures, was wiser than
the choice of his later years when he executed the com-
mission for Congress. For the first of these themes
fixes in the minds of succeeding generations that solemn
" Declaration " by which the fathers of the nation
staked their lives and sacred honor in the cause of lib-
erty and independence; while the second marks the
initial act which led to the securing of this indepen-
dence by force of arms. All other acts that followed,
legislative or military, were but subsidiary and conse-
quent upon these initial events. The surrenders of
Cornwallis and Burgoyne, though important as leading
to the termination of the war, were in the order of
events of minor moral significance.
To no other artist, and to no one historian, does the
nation owe so great a debt of gratitude as to Trum-
bull. His pictures are much more than a pictorial
record of historic events ; they are the presentation 'of
those events in a vivid form that has stamped the im-
pression indelibly on the minds of millions in the suc-
ceeding generations, including those countless numbers
who know the events of history in no other way than
through monuments of art.
In a letter to Lafayette, dated New York, October
20, 1823, Trumbull writes : " I have sent you . . .
a small case containing a proof impression ... of a
print which has been engraved here from my painting
of the Declaration of Independence ^ by a young engraver
(Asher B. Durand), born in this vicinity, and now only
twenty-six years old. This work is wholly American,
even to the paper and printing — a circumstance which
renders it popular here, and will make it a curiosity to
you, who knew America when she had neither painters
nor engravers, nor arts of any kind, except those of
PORTRAIT OF WASHINGTON
IN 1792 Trumbull painted his full-length portrait of
General Washington, which is now in the gallery
at New Haven; of this picture Trumbull writes : " It
is the best, certainly, of those which I painted, and the
best, in my estimation, which exists, in his military
character." This portrait was originally intended for
the city of Charleston, S. C, and was officially commis-
sioned by the local government ; but their representa-
tive through whom it was ordered seemed to think
that the city authorities would prefer a portrait of
Washington in his civic capacity as president. Trum-
bull writes in his autobiography : ^* Oppressed as the
President was with business I was reluctant to ask him
to sit again. I, however, waited upon him and stated
Mr. Smith's objection, and he cheerfully submitted to
a second penance, adding, ' Keep this picture for your-
self, Mr. Trumbull, and finish it to your taste.' I
did so, and another was painted for Charleston agree-
able to their taste." When the Connecticut branch of
the Society of the Cincinnati dissolved, the first pic-
ture, at the expense of some of the members, was pre-
sented to Yale College. Doubtless this portrait is
more true to the normal appearance and personal char-
acteristics of Washington, of any of the numerous por-
traits painted from life. Stuart's Washington — the
unfinished portrait now in the Boston Museum — has
become the accepted likeness that is indelibly fixed in
the minds of the people, and anything that varies from
this is commonly thought to be less true. But in point
of fact Stuart's portrait is very mannered, and the ex-
pressionless character of the mouth is said to have been
due to an ill-fitting set of teeth with which Washing-
ton, late in life, had been inflicted by his dentist. Nev-
ertheless, whatever criticism may be made of the Stuart
portrait, it has become irrevocably the orthodox like-
ness known to the world as the portrait of Washing-
ton ; and once the type becomes fixed in this way the
impression is ineradicable.
Trumbull claimed that his portrait represents Wash-
ington as he knew him, and as he was known to his
associates, the members of his military family. It is a
good portrait and many artists affirm that, from internal
evidence, it doubtless is the truest likeness of the man.
Trumbull claimed literalness for all the details of cos-
tume likewise, and this with a dryness of insistence
that is hardly to be expected from an artist of his stand-
ing or merit. The horse that rears in the background
is lifeless enough and ill-drawn, as was always the case
with his representations of this animal ; and this is the
more noticeable since Trumbull was a good draughts-
man, and the defect may only be accounted for on the
ground of his not having studied the horse as carefully
as he studied the human figure.
Washington, in his diary, records, between Febru-
ary 1 2th and July 13, 1790, eleven sittings "for Mr.
John Trumbull, for the purpose of drawing my pic-
ture." Under date of March ist he says: "Exer-
cised on horseback this forenoon, attended by Mr.
John Trumbull, who wished to see me mounted.'*
Tuckerman, in his Character and Portraits of Washing-
ton^ says of this likeness : " Ask any elderly Knicker-
bocker what picture will give you a good idea of
Washington, and he will confidently refer you to
Trumbull's portrait. When Lafayette first beheld a
replica of this picture on his visit to this country, in
1824, ^ ^^^ years before his death, he uttered an ex-
clamation of delight at its resemblance." Of this por-
trait John Durand wrote : " The portrait of General
Washington by Trumbull, in the New Haven collec-
tion, must be regarded as a standard portrait of the
Father of his Country. No ardst saw more of Wash-
ington under circumstances so favorable to a study of
his person and character, and none was honored by
him with more sittings. Trumbull knew Washington
at the outbreak of the war, when he was about forty-
five, in the prime of life, and he was with him, as we
have seen, in 1782 and 1783, at New Windsor, on the
North River, and it is said that he painted a portrait
of him from memory when he went to England. At
all events, in 1790, Washington gave him sittings for
two full-length portraits, one in civil costume, now at
Charleston, S. C, and the other in military uniform,
now at New Haven. . . Trumbull's aim in painting
Washington, he says in his memoirs, was " to preserve
the military character of the great original. . . In the
countenance of the hero the likenesSy the mere map of
his face, was not all that was attempted;" his object
was to give ^' the high resolve stamping on the face and
attitude the lofty purpose to conquer or to perish."
Whether, in the effort to render ideal expression,
Trumbull departed from strict accuracy of feature
which would satisfy the realist, is an open question.
His Washington differs from Charles Wilson Peale*s
two portraits, one painted while Washington was in
the English service, before the Revolution, and the
other during the war ; and also from Stuart's portrait,
painted during Washington's Presidential term, for
which the artist had sittings five years later than
Trumbull, in 1795.
LIST OF HISTORICAL PAINTINGS, POR-
TRAITS, MINIATURES, AND OTHER
WORKS OF ART, BY JOHN
(IN THE TALE SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS, NEW HAVEN, CONN.)
I Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775: size
of canvas, 25x36 inches: painted in 1787 : con-
taining portraits of General Joseph Warren,
General Israel Putnam — ^Americans; and of
General Howe, General Clinton, Major Pitcairn,
Colonel Small, and Lieutenant Pitcairn — British.
a The Death of Montgomery, in the attack on
Quebec, December 31, 1775: size of canvas,
2^x;i6 inches: painted in 1787 : containing por-
traits of General Montgomery, Major McPher-
son and Captain Cheesman.
3 The Declaration of Independence, July 4,
1776: size of canvas, 20x30 inches: painted
during the years 1787 to 1795 : containing por-
traits of George Wythe (Va.) ; William Whip-
ple (N. H.); Josiah Bartlett (N. H.) ; Benja-
min Harrison (Va,) ; Thomas Lynch (S. C.) ;
Richard Henry Lee (Va.); Samuel Adams
(Mass.); George Clinton (N. Y.); William
Paca (Md.); Samuel Chase (Md); Lems Mor-
ris (N. Y.) ; William Floyd (N. Y.) ; Arthur
Middleton (S. C.) ; Thomas Hayward (S. C.) ;
Charles Carroll (Md.) ; George Walton (Va.) ;
Robert Morris (Penna.); Thomas Willing
(Penna.) ; Benjamin Rush (Penna.) ; Elbridge
Gerry (Mass.) ; Robert Treat Pdne (Mass.) ;
Abraham Clark (N. J.) ; Stephen Hopkins
(R. L) ; William EUery (R. I.) ; George Cly-
mer (Penna.) ; William Hooper (N. C.) ; Joseph
Hewes (N. C.) ; James Wilson (Penna.) ; Fran-
cis Hopkinson (N. J.) ; John Adams (Mass.) ;
Roger Sherman (Conn.) ; Robert R. Livingston
(N. Y.) ; Thomas Jefferson (Va.) ; Benjamin
Franklin (Penna.) ; Richard Stockton (N. J.) ;
Francis Lewis (N. Y.) ; John Witherspoon
(N. J.) ; Samuel Huntington (Conn.) ; William
Williams (Conn.) ; Oliver Wolcott (Conn.) ;
John Hancock (Mass.); Charles Thompson
(Penna.) ; George Reed (Del.) ; John Dickinson
(Del.) ; Edward Rutledge (S. C.) ; Thomas Mc-
Kean (Penna.) ; and Philip Livingston (N. Y.) ;
(arranged in the order of the numbering of the
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, October 19,
1781 : size, 20x30 inches: painted in 1787,
containing portraits of Count Deuxponts, Duke
de Laval Montmorency, Count Custine, Duke
de Lauzun, General de Choisy, Viscount Vio-
menil. Marquis de St. Simon, Count Fersen,
Count Charles Damas, Marquis de Chasteliux,
Baron de Viomenil, Count de Barras, Count de
Grasse, Count Rochambeau, General Lincoln,
Colonel Ebenezer Stevens, General Washington,
Thomas Nelson, Marquis de La Fayette, Baron
Steuben, Colonel Cobb, Colonel Jonathan
Trumbull, Major-General James Clinton, Gen-
eral Gist, General Anthony Wayne, General
Hand, General Peter Muhlenberg, Major-
General Henry Knox, Lieutenant-Colonel £•
Huntington, Colonel Timothy Pickering, Colo-
nel Alexander Hamilton, Colonel John Lau-
rens, Colonel Walter Stuart and Colonel
Nicholas Fish (arranged in the order of the key).
Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, Decem-
ber 26, 1776: size of canvas, 20x30 inches:
painted 1795 ^^ ^799* containing portraits of
Colonel Wigglesworth, Colonel Shepherd, Colo-
nel Parker, James Monroe^ Colonel Rohl (of the
Hessians), Colonel William Smith, Colonel Har-
rison, Colonel Tilghman, General Washington,
General Sullivan, General Green, General Knox,
Brigadier-General Philemon Dickerson, Briga-
dier-General Glover, Brigadier-General Weldon
and Lieutenant William Washington (in the
order of the numbering of the key).
The Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777 :
size of canvas, 20x30 inches: painted about
1795 • containing portnuts of Brigadier-General
Mifflin, Lieutenant Trumbull, Dr. Rush, Colo-
nel Cadwallader, General Washington, Briga-
dier-General Mercer, Colonel B. G. Eyre, and
Captain Leslie of the Grenadiers (in the order
of the key).
6a Battle of Princeton : spirited sketch in color
on canvas, 25x36.
7 Surrender of General Burgoyne, October 16,
1777 : size, 20x30 inches : containing portrdts
of Major Lithgow, Colonel Cilley, General
Stark, Captain Seymour, Major Hull, Colonel
Greaton, Major Dearborn, Colonel Scammell,
Colonel Lewis, Major-General Phillips (Brit-
ish), Lieutenant-General Burgoyne (British),
General Baron Reidesel (German), Colonel
Wilkinson, General Gates, Colonel Prescott,
Colonel Morgan, Brigadier-General Rufus Put-
nam, Lieutenant-Colonel John Brooks, Rev.
Mr. Hitchcock (Chaplain), Major Robert
Troup, Major Haskell, Major Armstrong,
Major-General Philip Schuyler, Brigadier-Gen-
eral Glover, Brigadier-General Whipple, Major
Matthew Clarkson and Major Ebenezer Stevens
(in the order of the numbering of the key).
8 Resignation of General Washington, Decern -
ber 23, 1783 : size, 20x30 inches: containing
portraits of Thomas Mifflin, Charles Thomson,
Elbridge Gerry, Hugh Williamson, Samuel
Osgood, Eleazer McComb, George Partridge,
Edward Lloyd, Richard D. Spaight, Benjamin
Hawkins, Abiel Foster, Thomas Jefferson,
Arthur Lee, David Howell, James Monroe,
Jacob Reid, James Madison, William EUery,
Jeremiah T. Chase, Samuel Hardy, Charles
Morris, General Washington, Colonel Benjamin
Walker, Colonel David Humphreys, General
Smallwood, General Otho H. Williams, Colonel
Samuel Smith, Colonel John E. Howard,.
Charles Carroll and two daughters, Mrs.
Washington and three grandchildren, Daniel
(of St. Thomas Jennifer) arranged in the order
of the key.
9 General George Washington : full-length por-
trait : size of canvas, 63x92^ inches : painted
10 President Washington' : painted at Philadelphia
in 1793: size of canvas, 24x30 inches.
1 1 Alexander Hamilton ; copied in 1832 from the
original painted in 1792 : size of canvas, 24x30
12 The Duke of Wellington. Size of canvas,
13 Mrs. Trumbull, wife of the artist: size of can-
vas, 255^x32 inches.
14 Hon. Stephen Van Rensselaer. Size of can-
vas, 275^x3 5 J^ inches.
15 Timothy Dwight, 1792. President of Yale Col-
lege : size of canvas, 40x50 inches.
16 Governor Jonathan Trumbull, Sr. Size of
canvas, 40x50 inches.
17 RuFus King. Size of canvas, 25x30 inches.
18 Christopher Gore: painted in 1804: size of
canvas, 25x30 inches.
19 Duke of Buckingham. Size of canvas, 28x33
OIL MINIATURES ON WOOD
20 Henry Laurens, Preset, of Congress, 1791.
21 John Jay, Chief Justice U. S., 1793-
!22 John Adams, Vice-Pres., U. S., 1792.
23 George Hammond, Minister from Great Britain,
24 Temple Franklin, grandson of Dr. Franklin, 1791.
25 Nathanael Greene, Brigadier-General, 1792.
26 Col. William Hull, 1792.
27 Col. Thomas Stevens, 1791.
28 Capt Thomas Seymour, 1792.
29 Gen. John Brooks, 1790.
30 Rufus King, U. S. Senator, 1792.
31 Fisher Ames, M. C, 1792.
32 The Infant, a chiefof theSix Nations, 1792.
32 John Langdon, U. S. Senator, 1792.
34 John Brown, U. S. Rep., 1792.
25 Harriet Wadsworth, 1791.
26 Faith Trumbull, 1791.
37 Mrs. Trumbull, Lebanon, Conn., 1793.
38 Catherine Wadsworth, 1792.
39 Julia Seymour, 1792.
40 Signr. Cerracchi, Sculptor, 1792.
41 T. Dal ton, U. S. Senator, 1792.
42 The Young Sachem, a chief of the Six Nations,
43 Theo. Sedgwick, M. C, 1791.
44 Oliver Ellsworth, U. S. Senator, 1792.
45 Gen. O. H. Williams, 1790;
46 Thomas Pinckney, 1791.
47 Ju^c Rutledge, i79i-
48 Charles C. Pinckney, 1791.
.9 Gen. Wm. Moultrie, 1791-
;o William Smith, M. C, 1792.
1 Rufus Putnam, Brig.-Gen., 1790.
2 Jacob Reed, M. C, 1790.
;3 R. Izard, U. S. Senator, 1791.
;4 Col. Grimke, 1791.
:5 Eleanor Cusds, 1792*
;6 Cornelia Schuyler, 1792.
7 Mrs. Washington, 1792.
8 Sophia Chew, 1793.
;9 Harriet Chew, 1793.
60 Brig.-Gen. Smallwood, 1792.
61 Maj. Haskell, 1791.
62 Col. Morgan of the Rifle Corps, 1792.
63 Judge £• Benson, M. C, 1792.
64 Philip Schuyler, Maj.-Gen., 1792.
65 Jonathan Trumbull, Speaker of U. S. House of
66 Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., Governor of Connecticut
during the Revolution.
67 Good Peter, a chief of the Six Nations.
68 Dr. Lemuel Hopkins of Hartford, Ct., Poet and
69 John Trumbull, Author of " McFingal," 1794.
70 Judge Oakley, 1827.
71 Henry Dwight, M. C, 1827.
72 J. C. Calhoun, V. Pres., U. S., 1827.
73 Dr. Allen, 1827.
74 D. B. Ogden, 1827.
75 Maj.-Gen. Mifflin, Pres. of Cong,, 1783.
76 S. Livermore, U. S. Senator, 1791.
77 Capt. Manning, 1791.
78 Gen. Richard Butler, 1790.
79 Arthur Lee, 1790.
80 The Woman taken in Adultery : size of canvas,
72x96 inches: painted in London, 1808-1812.
8 1 St. John and Lamb : from memory of picture by
82 The Earl of Angus conferring Knighthood on De
Wilton ; size of canvas, 72x90 inches ; painted
in London, 1808-18 12. (Sir Walter Scott's
83 Holy Family.
84 Infant Saviour and St. John.
85 Lamderg and Gelchossa, Ossian's poem. Size of
canvas, 60x90 inches.
86 Maternal Tenderness.
87 Our Saviour with Little Children : size of canvas,
68x96 inches, painted in London, 1808-18 12.
88 Peter the Great at the Capture of Narva.
89 The Holy Family, Virgin and Infant Saviour, and
Joseph the Carpenter, St. John with his Lamb :
90 Joshua at the Battle of Ai, attended by Death.
91 The Last Family who Perished in the Deluge.
92 ''I was in Prison and ye came unto me."
93 ^^py of the Transfiguration by Raphael.
5^ Copy of Correggio's picture called St. Jerome at
Parma. (Painted in Tothill Fields Prison,
near London, where the artist was confined on
charge of High Treason during the winter of
95 ^^py ^^ ^^ " Madonna della Sedia," painted
under direction of Mr. West.
96 Copy of Domenichino's Communion of St Je-
97 Preparing the Body of our Saviour for the Tomb.
98 Copy of Raphael's Madonna au Corset Rouge.
99 Our Saviour Bearing the Cross and sinking un-
der its weight.
100 The Death of Paulus ^milius at the Battle of
Canne. (Painted at Lebanon, i774> ^t the age
of eighteen, before the artist had received any
instruction. The composition is all that is or-
iginal ; the figures were chosen from various en-
PORTRAITS AND PICTURES IN OTHER
Portrait of Washington: full-length: City Hall,
New York City.
Alexander Hamilton: full-length: City Hall, New
General George Clinton: full-length: City Hall,
John Jay : full-length : City Hall, New York.
Sortie from Gibraltar, November 27, 1871. Owned
by the Boston Athenaeum : now in the Boston
Museum of Art: size, 72x108 inches. There
are five known replicas of this picture, all of
Portrait of Alexander Hamilton: Metropolitan
Museum of Art, New York.
Portrait of Alexander Hamilton : Boston Muse-
um of Art.
Portrait of Alexander Hamilton: Mrs. Henry
Cabot, Boston. Owned by Mrs. Pendleton,
Hosack, N. Y.
Stephen Minot : Boston Museum of Art.
Mrs. Stephen Minot : Boston Museum of Art.
Governor Lewis : City Hall, New York.
Sortie from Gibraltar, canvas, 36x44 : owned by
Mr. William A. Burnham, of Boston.
Sortie from Gibraltar : given to Benjamin West :
whereabouts now unknown.
Replica made for William Sharp to engrave from,
owned by Robert O'Neill, Wickersham.
Sortie from Gibraltar, 26x36 : owned by Mr. J.
M. Fox, of Philadelphia.
Replica of Battle of Bunker's Hill : owned by the
Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Conn. (The
series at Hartford were painted about 1832.)
Size, 72x108 inches.
Replica of the Battle of Trenton : owned by the
Wadsworth Athenaeum. Size, 72x108 inches :
painted late in life.
Replica of the Battle of Princeton : owned by the
Wadsworth Athenaeum. Size, 72x108 inches :
painted late in life.
Replica of the Declaration of Independence:
owned by the Wadsworth Atheneum. Size,
72x108 : painted late in life*
Replica of the Death of Montgomery : owned by
the Wadsworth Athenaeum.
Holy Family : owned by the Wadsworth Athenaeum.
Col. Wadsworth and His Son: 1784: replica:
Col. Samuel Osgood, owned by M. Augustus Field,
of New York.
Mrs. Samuel Osgood, owned by M. Augustus Field,
of New York.
Jonathan Trumbull Hudson : owned by Mrs.
Elizabeth McK. Hudson, Stratford, Conn.
Mrs. J. T. Hudson : owned by Mrs. Elizabeth McK.
Hudson, Stratford, Conn.
Miniature: owned by Robert W. DeForest, New
Hon. Thos. Russell and His Wife, afterward Lady
Temple : owned by Mr. Richard Sullivan, of
Mrs. George Codwise (Miss Van Rantz) : owned by
Mrs. Beatrice Codwise.
Mrs. James Codwise (Miss Rogers) : owned by Mrs.
Mrs. Trumbull on her death-bed : owned by Mrs.
Lanman, Norwich, Conn.
John M. Trumbull, nephew of Col. Trumbull :
painted in London, in the artist's best manner :
owned by Wm. H. Lee, Minneapolis, Minn.
Portrait : owned by Mrs. Augustus B. Field, of
Portrait : owned by Mrs. Augustus B. Field, of
Portrait: owned by Miss Anna Eddy, of Eddys-
Portrait : owned by Miss Anna Eddy, of Eddys-
John Trumbull: painted in 1833: owned by Mrs.
Benjamin Silliman, New York.
Rev. D. Smalley : owned by the Historical Society,
AsHER B. DuRAND : owned by the Historical Society,
Bryan Rossiter (in military uniform) painted in 1790 :
owned by the Historical Society, New York
Miniature of John Lawrence, owned by the His-
torical Society, New York.
John Pintard : painted in 18 16.
President Washington, National Museum, Wash-
ington, D. C.
Mrs. Washington, National Museum, Washington,
Original Study for Portrait of Washington and his
horse : size, 1S^33 • owned by Mr. Fernando
Jones, Chicago, 111.
Portrait: deposited in the Museum of the Brooklyn
Brutus (earlyattempt):Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hart-
The Falls of Niagara : 2 studies : Wadsworth
Athenaeum, Hartford, Conn.
Mrs. L. H. Sigourney : size, 25x30 : Wadsworth
Gov. AND Mrs. Jonathan Trumbull, Sr. : size,
50x40 : Wadsworth Athenaeum.
Copy of Rubens' Elevation of the Cross: size,
42^x59)^ : Wadsworth Athenaeum.
Portrait of an Artist : size, 25x30 (one of his best
portraits) : Wadsworth Athenaeum.
Copy of Titian's Scourging of Christ: size,
285^x45^ : Wadsworth Athenaeum.
The Duke of Wellington : Wadsworth Athenaeum.
Gen. David Humphreys : size, 20x24 : Wadsworth
Gov. Jonathan Trumbull : size, 20x24 : Wadsworth
Infant Saviour and St. John : figures copied from
Raphael : size, 25x30 : Wadsworth Athenaeum.
Mrs. Lynde: owned by Mrs. Susan L. Oliver, of
Mrs. Christopher Gore : owned by Mrs. Samuel T.
Morse, of Boston.
Small Full-Length of Washington : Size, 25x30 ;
painted in London ; probably the one done
from memory: owned by Mr. Charles A.
Munn, New York. Formerly belonged to M.
de Neufville, of Amsterdam : Engraved by
Mrs. Nathaniel Prime : owned by Mr. Francis C.
Lowell, of Boston.
Lady of the Lake : owned by Mr. Wm. C. Lan-
man, Norwich, Conn.
Mr. George Gallagher: owned by Dr. Geo. G.
Hopkins^ Brooklyn, N. Y.
Portrait, owned by Mrs. Edward B. Huntington,
Portrait, owned by Mrs. Edward B. Huntington,
Thomas Russell, Esq., owned by Mr. Richard Sulli-
Mrs. Thomas Russell, owned by Mr. Richard Sulli-
The Declaration of Independence: size, 12x18
feet : in the Rotunda of the Capitol, Washing-
ton, D. C.
The Surrender of Burgoyne: size, 12x18 feet: in
the Rotunda of the Capitol, Washington, D. C.
The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis: size, iaxi8
feet : in the Rotunda of the Capitol, Washing-
ton, D. C.
Washington Resigning His Commission : size,
12x18 feet: in the Rotunda of the Capitol,
Washington, D. C.
(These four pictures were commissioned by Congress
in 1 816 and the last was completed in 1824.)
Portrait of a Lady : Lenox Library, N. Y.
Priam and the Body of Hector : Boston Athe-
Portrait of Mr. Rogers: owned by Mr. Ward
Portrait OF Judge Samuel Miles Hopkins: size,
40x50 inches : owned by Dr. Geo. G. Hopkins,
Brooklyn, N. Y.
Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Hopkins: owned by Dr.
Geo. G. Hopkins, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Dr. Lemuel Hopkins : owned by Dr. Geo. G.
Hopkins, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Francis Taylor Winthrop : owned by Mrs. Deane
Pratt, Saybrook, Conn.
Mrs. F. T. Winthrop: owned by Mrs. Deane
Pratt, Saybrook, Conn.
KOHLER ART LIBRARY