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    George Washington: Léon Cogniet Historical Painting. 24" x 28.5" oil on canvas, on a tombstone stretcher and similarly shaped walnut frame, depicting George Washington, his horse "Old Nelson" and a groom or valet. The unidentified scene may be Yorktown, site of the final major battle of the Revolutionary War. Washington stands in full uniform atop a promontory. His groom steadies the general's white steed. A cannon points towards a redoubt (possibly Number Ten on Gloucester Point) which has been reduced to smoldering ruins. The clouds are overcast, but more so seaward, symbolizing the threat from England and her celebrated navy. In fact, the fate of Cornwallis was doomed when a combined British fleet failed to destroy the French fleet commanded by Admiral de Grasse and were forced to return to New York.

    Léon Cogniet (1794-1880) was a French painter of the Romantic school who specialized in portraits and historical subjects. Like many historical painters, his works were issued as engravings for sale to the general public. In fact, that was the case here. It was published by Jean Nicolas Laugier in 1839. George Washington Parke Custis, step-grandson and adopted son of the General, considered this work as very well done. The painter may have been inspired to chose this subject in light of the decisive role played by French forces.

    The artist signed the lower left corner, but there is some overpainting covering part of the signature. The work has been cleaned and relined. There is some mild crazing as well as some restoration to the tips of Washington's lapels and one hand of the groom. The original frame has some minor scratches and nicks, but is in very fine condition overall.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    18th Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,176

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