General George Washington Resigning His Commission (Painting)
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Artist John Trumbull's 1824 painting depicts General George Washington resigning his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783 to the Congress of the Confederation, then meeting in the Maryland State House at Annapolis, Maryland. The painting is now on view in the United States Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C.
According to Wikipedia: Trumbull considered George Washington's resignation as commander-in-chief to be "one of the highest moral lessons ever given to the world".
General George Washington is shown in full military uniform, illuminated in the middle of the painting as he addresses the Continental Congress. Standing behind him are his aides-de-camp Colonel David Humphreys and Colonel Benjamin Walker. Standing on the left are President of the Continental Congress Thomas Mifflin and Secretary of the Continental Congress Charles Thomson.
Martha Washington and her three grandchildren are shown in the gallery on the right, although they were not actually in attendance. Future Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison are shown among the delegates. Trumbull told Madison that he had used artistic license to include him in the painting.
Other congressional delegates include Elbridge Gerry, Hugh Williamson, Samuel Osgood, Eleazer McComb, George Partridge, Richard Dobbs Spaight, and Benjamin Hawkins. Also standing behind Washington are General William Smallwood, General Otho Holland Williams, Col. Samuel Smith, Col. John Eager Howard, and Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, spectators from Maryland, and Maryland delegate Charles Carroll with his two daughters.
Trumbull used his 1792 portrait General George Washington at Trenton as the model for Washington in this work. He used several of his miniature portraits from 1790 to 1793 for the other people in attendance, including Thomas Mifflin, William Smallwood, and Martha Washington.
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: Annapolis, Maryland
Original medium: Oil on canvas
Image restored & enhanced by Rebel Seed Studio