John “The Painter” Trumbull

John “The Painter” Trumbull

Lebanon, New London County, Connecticut, USA
Death 10 Nov 1843 (aged 87)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
Plot buried beneath the museum
Memorial ID 7413829 · View Source
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Artist. Born in Lebanon, Connecticut, the son of Jonathan Trumbull, Colonial Governor of Connecticut. He entered Harvard at the age of sixteen, and was graduated the following year. His interest had been the study of art. When the Revolutionary War began, he joined the American army. His skill as a draftsman enabled him to make drawings of the enemy's works at Boston, and General Washington appointed him one of his aides-de-camp. He later left Washington's staff and went north with Gen. Horatio Gates as adjutant at the rank of colonel. He resigned his commission in February, 1777, and resumed his art studies. In 1778, a plan was formed for the recovery of Rhode Island from the British, Trumbull joined Gen. John Sul1ivan during the campaign as volunteer aide-de-camp. In May, 1780, he sailed for France and then to London, with a letter from Benjamin Franklin to Benjamin West. He was there arrested for treason, but after an imprisonment of eight months he was released, on condition of leaving the kingdom. West and John Singleton Copley pledged Trumbull's sureties. When the end of the war enabled him to go again to England he resumed his studies with West. He visited Paris in 1785, and there began the composition of the work, "Declaration of Independence." In 1787 and 1789 he painted a portrait of Thomas Jefferson. In the summer of 1790, he was commissioned by New York City to paint a full-length portrait of Washington, and in 1791 he executed a likeness of George Clinton. In June, 1804, he came back to the United States, settling in New York where he worked as a portrait painter. In 1817 he was commissioned by congress to paint historical pictures for the rotunda in the capitol. The subjects were "The Declaration of Independence," "The Surrender of Burgoyne," "The Surrender of Cornwallis," and "The Resignation of Washington." Trumbull served as president of the American Academy of Fine Arts, from 1816 to 1825, but was unpopular in the position. He published an autobiography in 1841. He died in New York City at the age of 87.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: GP
  • Added: 4 May 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7413829
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John “The Painter” Trumbull (6 Jun 1756–10 Nov 1843), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7413829, citing Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .