On a snowy morning in 1775, British and Canadian troops waited in the town of Quebec for the ambush they were expecting from General Montgomery’s battalion. As Montgomery neared the town, he dashed forward, calling his men to follow. A hail of shot from the Canadian side killed the leader and several of his troops, instantly. In this dramatic composition, Trumbull shows Montgomery dying in the arms of Major Matthias Ogden, while his two aides-de-camp are already dead in the snow. To the left of the composition, comrades express their shock and distress at the sight before them. Just left of Montgomery, Colonel Joseph Louis Cook, a Native American Officer who served in the Continental Army, raises his tomahawk defiantly.
John Trumbull’s original oil painting for ‘The Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec’ (1786) is at Yale University Art Gallery, along with two preparatory studies for the painting.
Johan Frederik Clemens was a Danish line engraver of military, religious and other subjects, after his contemporaries. His prints include ‘Death of General Montgomery at the Attack of Quebec’ (published 1798) after John Trumbull (1756-1843) and ‘The Battle in the Roadstead, 2 April 1801’ after Christian August Lorentzen (1746-1828). Clemens worked for a time in Copenhagen, was in London during the years 1792 to 1795 and in 1825, and is known to have had an English wife.
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