George Washington (1732-1799) General & Statesman
Engravingpublished 1 August 1796
- About the work
About the artist
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.
Thomas Cheesman, engraver and draughtsman, began his career in the studio of stipple engraver Francesco Bartolozzi. Thought to have been one of Bartolozzi’s best pupils, many early works by Cheesman were probably signed off by his master and are therefore lost among the great body of work by Bartolozzi. However, the pupil recognised the marketing value of Bartolozzi’s name when he signed his 1792 engraving ‘Adelaide’: ‘Drawn and Engraved by T. Cheesman late Pupil to F. Bartolozzi, R.A.’. Cheesman’s engravings were made after religious, literary and sentimental subjects by contemporary artists, as well as works by Old Masters. He is thought to have died shortly after his last work was exhibited at the Society of British Artists, in 1834.