John Trumbull was born in Lebanon, Connecticut; the son of a shipowner and later Governor of Connecticut. He studied at Harvard and under J. S. Copley, before serving in the War of Independence. In 1780 he travelled to London to study under B. West. He was imprisoned as a spy and forced to leave the UK but returned in 1784 to continue in West’s studio and study at the Royal Academy schools. He went back to America in 1789 and travelled along the east coast, painting portraits of participants in the War. He was later back in London to serve as Secretary to the Jay Treaty Commission. In 1817, in America again, he was commissioned to produce four murals for the dome of the Capitol and elected President of the American Academy. He died at 87.
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