A wonderful view into the history of a famous painting -- and an excellent reminder that our histories are constructed in many complex ways #Repost @yaleartgallery
[John] Trumbull was an aide-de-camp for General George Washington during the Revolutionary War and subsequently became the new nation's first history painter. In this iconic image the artist represents the moment when the committee appointed to draw up the document submitted Jefferson's draft for the consideration of the Continental Congress. Conscious of creating an image for succeeding generations, Trumbull made the whole committee—John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin—present the document to John Hancock, rather than Jefferson alone, which would have been historically accurate. He consulted Adams and Jefferson about who should actually be in the scene. They urged that all delegates be included, even those who were not present or those who had opposed the Declaration and did not sign. The goal was to preserve the exact likeness of those extraordinary individuals—aristocrats, doctors, lawyers, farmers, shopkeepers—who had put their lives and fortunes on the line. Trumbull worked on "The Declaration" for more than three decades, hoping to include all 56 figures, but he was unable to obtain all the likenesses. Of the 48 portraits in the painting, 36 were taken from life; others were copied from an existing portrait or taken of a son as a substitute.
John Trumbull, The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 (detail), 1786–1820. Oil on canvas. Yale University Art Gallery, Trumbull Collection
The museum is closed on Wednesday, July 4, in observance of #independenceday
. Visit this remarkable painting on Thursday at 10:00 am, when the Gallery reopens to the public.
#declarationofindependence #americanart #americanhistory #johntrumbull #historypainting #thomasjefferson #rogersherman #benjaminfranklin #robertlivingston #johnadams #johnhancock #continentalcongress #philadephia #lifelibertyandthepursuitofhappiness #fourthofjuly @yale #freeandopentothepublic #yaleartmuseums