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American Treasures at the Fenimore Art Museum

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Record 51/116
Copyright New York State Historical Association and/or The Farmers' Museum, Inc.
Object ID N0198.1961
Title Major-General Baron Frederick William August von Steuben
Artist Earl, Ralph
Object Name Painting
Early Date 1786
Exhibit label line3 Major Von Steuben (1730-1794) served under President George Washington as Inspector General of the Continental Army. He was known for his effective drill methods, which turned the ragged patriots into a disciplined military force. Congress awarded him the tribute of a silver-hilted sword and 16,000 acres in upstate New York. The Baron spent the later years of his life in the village of Steuben, New York.

Ralph Earl, a native of Connecticut, remained loyal to the British during the American Revolution. After the War, he traveled to England where he studied in London with Benjamin West. Although exposed to the most sophisticated artistic developments of the day, Earl chose to retain a flat, linear look in his paintings, a style more in keeping with provincial England and the taste of most Americans. He later returned to the United States and painted a series of masterful portraits of the upper class in western Connecticut, New York, and Vermont, including many Revolutionary War veterans.
Description Portrait: Major-General Baron Frederick William August von Steuben Marks: Signed lower left: "R. Earl pinxt 1786"
Classification Academic Art--Painting/Drawing--Portraits--Human
Dimensions H-49 W-40 D-3 inches
Material Oil on canvas

Prior written permission is required for any reproduction, redistribution, publication, or other use of the images in any media, including but not limited to, printed or electronic media. Contact the Office of the Registrar, New York State Historical Association, PO Box 800, Cooperstown, NY 13326, (607) 547-1444, to request permission.    
Last modified on: November 04, 2005