Washington and Lafayette at the Battle of Yorktown
Origin: America, Massachusetts, Acton
Other (Unframed): 22 1/4 x 33 7/8in. (56.5 x 86cm)
Framed: 25 7/16 x 37 1/4 x 2 1/4in. (64.6 x 94.6 x 5.7cm)
Oil and gold paint on cotton twill canvas
Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Acc. No. 1931.101.1
A uniformed man on a white horse fills most of the composition. Beyond him, a man on a dark horse is partly visible. The pair appear between two trees, while beyond them, rows of soldiers are engaged in battle. Grass and tree leaves are painted a very bright green. Exploding shells are visible at left, as well as unexploded ones beyond the horses.
The original frame was replaced by a 1 7/8-inch, black-painted cyma recta molded framewith applied gold beading that possibly dates to the second half of the nineteenth century.
Label:Reuben Law Reed was a granite worker and later a house painter. He was described by his grandson as having "an ardent and life-long interest in historical matters." Reed was proud of his ancestors who had fought at the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill. This painting shows the American and French generals surveying the battle of Yorktown, the single most decisive engagement of the American Revolution. The picture is said to accord with a description of the battle given by an eyewitness, who congratulated Reed on the likeness.
Provenance:Reuben Law Reed, South Acton Mass.; William R. Pecord, probably Harvard, Mass.; Fridenberg Galleries, New York, NY; Helen Hackett; Edith Gregor Halpert, Downtown Gallery, New York, NY; bought from Halpert November 16, 1931, by Abby Aldrich Rockfeller, by whom given to CWF.