Art: Patriot Painter

Of the leading American artists of Revolutionary days, only Charles Willson Peale stayed to witness the stirring events that led to victory. Benjamin West, already an established London painter by 1775, preferred to remain in England. John Trumbull at 19 was an aide-de-camp to Washington and had viewed the battle on Bunker's Hill through field glasses from his post in Roxbury, but he resigned his commission in a huff and later departed for London. Gilbert Stuart, then 19, got away in the spring of 1775 aboard the last ship to escape the embargo in...

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