|Surrender of Lord Cornwallis|
|Dimensions||3.7 m× 5.5 m(12 ft× 18 ft)|
|Location||United States Capitol rotunda, Washington, D. C.|
|Owner||United States of America|
The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis is an oil painting by John Trumbull. The painting was completed in 1820, and hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.
The painting depicts the surrender of British Lieutenant General Charles, Earl Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781, ending the Siege of Yorktown, and virtually guaranteeing American independence. Included in the depiction are many leaders of the American troops that took part in the siege.
Artist John Trumbull (1756–1843) spent the early part of the American Revolutionary War as a soldier, serving as an aide to both George Washington and Horatio Gates. After resigning from the army in 1777, he pursued a career as an artist. In 1785 he began sketching out ideas for a series of large-scale paintings to commemorate the major events of the American Revolution. After spending a time in England, he returned to New York City in 1789, where he sketched a number of dignitaries whose portraits he intended to use in these paintings. In 1791 he traveled to Yorktown, Virginia, where he sketched the landscape of the surrender site.
Upon his return from Britain after the end of the War of 1812, he promoted this idea to the United States Congress. On the strength of his application and the successful exhibition of The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775 and The Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec, December 31, 1775, as well as studies for other proposed paintings, the Congress in 1817 voted to commission four large paintings from him, to be hung in the United States Capitol rotunda.
The price was set at $8,000 per painting, with the size and subject matter to be determined by President James Madison. A size of twelve by eighteen feet (370 cm × 550 cm) was agreed, as was the subject matter for the four paintings: the Declaration of Independence , the Surrender of General Burgoyne , the Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, and General George Washington Resigning His Commission . Trumbull spent the next eight years executing the commission, completing this painting in 1820. It was displayed in New York City, Boston, and Baltimore before coming to Washington, D. C., and Trumbull supervised its hanging in the Capitol rotunda in late 1820.It has remained there since.
Trumbull himself cleaned and varnished the painting in 1828, and it has been periodically maintained since. In 1971, damage from a penny that was thrown hard enough to pierce the canvas was repaired.All of the Rotunda paintings were most recently cleaned in 2008.
The subject of this painting is the surrender of the British army at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, which ended the last major campaign of the Revolutionary War. The blue sky filled with dark clouds and the broken cannon suggest the battles that led to this event. In early September, entrenched with a force of 7,000 men, Cornwallis had hoped for rescue from the sea, but the British vessels were repelled by a French fleet. Within weeks General Washington had deployed a much larger army, and his artillery bombarded the British positions in early October. After American and French troops overran two British strongholds, Cornwallis surrendered on October 19, 1781.
In the center of the scene, American General Benjamin Lincoln appears mounted on a white horse. He extends his right hand toward the sword carried by the surrendering British officer, General Charles O'Hara, who heads the long line of troops that extends into the background. To the left, French officers appear standing and mounted beneath the white banner of the royal Bourbon family. On the right are American officers beneath the Stars and Stripes; among them are the Marquis de Lafayette and Colonel Jonathan Trumbull, the brother of the painter. General George Washington, riding a brown horse, stayed in the background because Cornwallis himself was not present for the surrender. The Comte de Rochambeau is on the left center on a brown horse.
The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence or the Revolutionary War, was initiated by delegates from the thirteen American colonies in Congress against Great Britain over their objection to Parliament's taxation policies and lack of colonial representation. From their founding in the 1600s, the colonies were largely left to govern themselves. The cost of victory in the 1754 to 1763 French and Indian War and 1756 to 1763 Seven Years' War left the British government deeply in debt; attempts to have the colonies pay for their own defense were vigorously resisted. The Stamp Act and Townshend Acts provoked colonial opposition and unrest, leading to the 1770 Boston Massacre and 1773 Boston Tea Party. When Parliament imposed the Intolerable Acts upon Massachusetts, twelve colonies sent delegates to the First Continental Congress to draft a Petition to the King and organize a boycott of British goods.
The Siege of Yorktown, also known as the Battle of Yorktown, the Surrender at Yorktown, or the German Battle, ending on October 19, 1781, at Yorktown, Virginia, was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British army commanded by British peer and Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis. The culmination of the Yorktown campaign, the siege proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War in the North American region, as the surrender by Cornwallis, and the capture of both him and his army, prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict.
John Trumbull was an American artist of the early independence period, notable for his historical paintings of the American Revolutionary War, of which he was a veteran. He has been called "The Painter of the Revolution".
Benjamin Lincoln was an American army officer. He served as a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Lincoln was involved in three major surrenders during the war: his participation in the Battles of Saratoga contributed to John Burgoyne's surrender of a British army, he oversaw the largest American surrender of the war at the 1780 Siege of Charleston, and, as George Washington's second in command, he formally accepted the British surrender at Yorktown.
Sir Banastre Tarleton, 1st Baronet, GCB was a British soldier and politician. Tarleton was eventually ranked as a general years after his service in the colonies during the American Revolutionary War, and afterwards did not lead troops into battle.
William Phillips was a renowned artilleryman and general officer in the British Army who served as a major-general in the American War of Independence.
The British Legion was the name of a British provincial regiment established during the American Revolutionary War, composed of British Loyalist American infantry and dragoons. It was colloquially known as Tarleton's Raiders, the Green Horse, and the Green Dragoons, after the British officer who led most of its day-to-day activities, Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, and the green uniform coats of its officers. "Legion" was an 18th-century term for a military unit the size of a regiment, but consisting of infantry and cavalry, or infantry, cavalry, and artillery, all under one command, to make it more flexible for scouting or irregular operations than a regiment, which consisted of infantry or cavalry alone.
Josiah Parker was an American politician who was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia in the First through Sixth United States Congresses.
The Yorktown or Virginia campaign was a series of military maneuvers and battles during the American Revolutionary War that culminated in the decisive Siege of Yorktown in October 1781. The result of the campaign was the surrender of the British Army force of General Charles Earl Cornwallis, an event that led directly to the beginning of serious peace negotiations and the eventual end of the war. The campaign was marked by disagreements, indecision, and miscommunication on the part of British leaders, and by a remarkable set of cooperative decisions, at times in violation of orders, by the French and Americans.
The Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War was the central theater of military operations in the second half of the American Revolutionary War, 1778–1781. It encompassed engagements primarily in Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina. Tactics consisted of both strategic battles and guerrilla warfare.
The United States Capitol rotunda is the central rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., built 1818–1824. It is located below the Capitol dome, built 1857–1866; the later construction also extended the height of the rotunda walls. It is the tallest part of the Capitol and has been described as its "symbolic and physical heart".
Mordecai Gist (1743–1792) was a member of a prominent Maryland family who became a general in command of the Maryland Line in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.
Events from the year 1781 in the United States. This year marked the beginning of government under the Articles of Confederation as well as the surrender of British armed forces in the American Revolution.
The Surrender of General Burgoyne is an oil painting by John Trumbull. The painting was completed in 1821, and hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.
Charles, Earl Cornwallis (1738–1805) was a military officer who served in the British Army during the American War of Independence. He is best known for surrendering his army after the 1781 Siege of Yorktown, an act that ended major hostilities in North America and led directly to peace negotiations and the eventual end of the war.
The history of Virginia in the American Revolution begins with the role the Colony of Virginia played in early dissent against the British government and culminates with the defeat of General Cornwallis by the allied forces at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, an event signaled the effective military end to the conflict. Numerous Virginians played key roles in the Revolution, including George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson.
The British Army during the American Revolutionary War served for eight years in campaigns fought around the globe. Defeat at the Siege of Yorktown to a combined Franco-US force ultimately led to the loss of the Thirteen Colonies in eastern North America, and the concluding Treaty of Paris deprived Britain of many of the gains achieved in the Seven Years' War. However several victories elsewhere meant that much of the British Empire remained intact.
General George Washington Resigning His Commission is a large-scale oil painting by American artist John Trumbull of General George Washington resigning his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783 to the Congress of the Confederation, then meeting in the Maryland State House at Annapolis, Maryland. The painting was commissioned in 1817, started in 1822, finished in 1824, and is now on view in the United States Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C., along with three other large-scale paintings by Trumbull about the American Revolutionary War.
Washington at Verplanck's Point is a full-length portrait in oil painted in 1790 by the American artist John Trumbull of General George Washington at Verplanck's Point on the North River in New York during the American Revolutionary War. The background depicts the September 14, 1782 review of Continental Army troops Washington staged there as an honor for the departing French commander Comte de Rochambeau and his army.