A restored mid-19th-century copy of a painting depicting George Washington and French general Rochambeau during the last major battle of America’s Revolutionary War has been installed at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. The painting will be prominently displayed when the Museum opens to the public on April 19.
The exceptionally large painting, measuring 14-by-17 feet (16-by-19 framed), is a hand-painted copy of French artist Louis Charles-Auguste Couder’s Siege of Yorktown (1781). It hangs in the Museum’s second floor court and can be seen from the first floor, drawing visitors up the grand staircase as they begin the Museum experience.
The original 1836 Couder painting hangs in the Hall of the Battles in the Palace of Versailles. It was commissioned as part of a series of works commemorating the great moments of France’s military history. The Museum’s copy is believed to have been painted by French artist Henry LeGrand and exhibited in 1860 at the Chicago Art Union.
The painting depicts Washington and Rochambeau giving orders at Yorktown, Virginia. Rochambeau played a major role in helping the Continental Army win the war. The two men stand in front of a marquee tent much like George Washington’s Headquarters Tent, one of the most iconic surviving artifacts of the Revolution, which also is featured in the Museum.