CENTENNIAL TAPESTRY OF JOHN TRUMBULL'S FAMOUS PAINTING OF THE DECLARATION, WITH KEY TO THE PORTRAITS AND FACSIMILE SIGNATURES OF THE SIGNERS
TRUMBULL, John. "Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, 4th July 1776." (Tapestry representation of Trumbull's painting). No place, 1876. Large linen tapestry, measuring 33-1/2 by 29 inches; framed, entire piece measures 41 by 37 inches. $5000.
Large linen centennial tapestry representing John Trumbull’s famous painting of the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, with Thomas Jefferson presenting their draft to John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress.
In the period following the War of 1812, Americans began to look back, for the first time with historical perspective, on the era of the founding of the country. Among other things, such documents as the debates of the Constitutional Convention were published for the first time. Others revisited the Declaration— the actual document itself, then preserved in the State Department. Because of the renewed interest in the Declaration, in 1817 the Senate commissioned historical-painter John Trumbull to execute an oil-on-canvas work commemorating the event. His monumental 18-by-12-foot painting, placed in the Rotunda in 1826, depicts the presentation of the draft of the United States Declaration of Independence to Congress. It contains portraits of 42 of the 56 signers and five other patriots, featuring in the foreground the committee that drafted the Declaration— John Adams, Roger Sherman, Thomas Jefferson (presenting the document), and Benjamin Franklin— standing before John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress. These individual portraits of the founders "appealed to the then prevalent American taste for accurate countenances, the common nature of these portraits transformed through their association with a noble event. As Trumbull explained: 'But to preserve and diffuse the memory of the noblest series of actions which have ever presented themselves in the history of man" (Daniel C. Favata). This printed representation on linen of Trumbull's famous painting was produced as a memento for the nation's Centennial celebration and includes a key to the portraits and facsimiles of the founders' signatures.
Large faint circular dampstain to left half, uniformly toned to mellow tan. A splendid production.