Washington, Lafayette, and Tilghman at Yorktown, Etching by Albert Rosenthal after Peale, Signed Proof Plate, 1898

Presented is a signed, plate proof etching portrait of George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette, and Tench Tilghman at Yorktown by Albert Rosenthal. The print, a proof etching, was published in Philadelphia in 1898 and is modeled after a 1784 painting by Charles Willson Peale. Rosenthal has signed in pencil at the lower right of the image. "No. 8" is written in pencil below a remarqued scroll with "Articles of Capitulation...Oct. 19th 1781." Peale's etched signature is at lower left of the image.

The etching depicts all three men in full length figure, in uniform. General George  Washington stands most prominent, with his left hand gloved and thrust into his jacket and his right hand is resting upon the hip. To the right are full length depictions of Lafayette and Tilghman. Tilghman holds a scroll, meant to symbolize the 1781 Yorktown Articles of Capitulation, in his left hand. The background is filled with a camp table, tent, and soldiers drilling. 

In October 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, VA, effectively ending the Revolutionary War. In enthusiastic response, the Maryland House of Delegates asked the Governor to commission Maryland-born artist Charles Willson Peale to paint a portrait of colonial America's hero, General Washington. Peale agreed to the commission and spent the next three years completing the portrait. 

In addition to painting Washington, whose likeness Peale based on an 1783 life sitting, Peale added two figures to his composition. The first was Marquis de Lafayette, who represents the pivotal alliance between colonial America and France that led to victory in the Revolution. Peale initially relied on a bust of Lafayette to produce the latter's painted image, although Lafayette saw the painting as it was nearly finished, and offered to sit for Peale so the artist could tweak his likeness.

The second figure Peale added is Lieutenant Colonel Tench Tilghman (1744-1786), a Marylander who served as Washington's military secretary and aide-de-camp, who is shown in profile. Washington sent him to deliver formally the news of Cornwallis' surrender to the Continental Congress, which then was meeting at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Appropriately, Peale painted Tilghman with the 1781 Yorktown Articles of Capitulation in his left hand. Tilghman's portrait was painted from life by Peale. The completed oil-on-canvas was delivered to the Maryland State House in 1784 and has hung in the Old Senate Chamber ever since. 

Publisher records for this etching by Rosenthal, dating to December 1897, indicate "twenty sets in four states of this plate printed and subscribed for" were printed, along with "an unique set of eight trial proofs, showing the progress of the etching from the commencement to the finish." This was presumably the eighth trial proof, as indicated by the pencil marking and the fully completed image. 


Overall very good condition. Lightly toned in margins and light wrinkling at margin edges, not touching image. Unframed, sold as is. Unframed Dimensions: 15 3/4 "H x 12"W.

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