Surrender of Lord Cornwallis
Artist John Trumbull's 1820 painting depicts the surrender of British Lieutenant General Charles, Earl Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781, ending the Siege of Yorktown, which virtually guaranteed American independence. Included in the depiction are many leaders of the American troops that took part in the Siege of Yorktown.
According to Wikipedia: The blue sky filled with dark clouds and the broken cannon suggest the battles that led to this event. In early September, entrenched with a force of 7,000 men, Cornwallis had hoped for rescue from the sea, but the British vessels were repelled by a French fleet. Within weeks General Washington had deployed a much larger army, and his artillery bombarded the British positions in early October. After American and French troops overran two British strongholds, Cornwallis surrendered.
In the center of the scene, American General Benjamin Lincoln appears mounted on a white horse. He extends his right hand toward the sword carried by the surrendering British officer, General Charles O'Hara, who heads the long line of troops that extends into the background. To the left, French officers appear standing and mounted beneath the white banner of the royal Bourbon family.
On the right are American officers beneath the Stars and Stripes; among them are the Marquis de Lafayette and Colonel Jonathan Trumbull, the brother of the painter. General George Washington, riding a brown horse, stayed in the background because Cornwallis himself was not present for the surrender. The Comte de Rochambeau is on the left center on a brown horse.
The painting now hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Download the Keys to John Trumbull's American Revolution Paintings (to view the name and location of each person depicted in the composition).
Artist: John Trumbull
Location: Yorktown, Virginia
Original medium: Oil on canvas
Image restored & enhanced by Rebel Seed Studio