"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


This 1856 statue of The Dying Tecumseh by Ferdinand Pettrich stands in a stairwell in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
 "Tecumseh (c. 1768-1813) played a key role in Indian resistance to America's post-Revolutionary expansion into the Midwest. A Shawnee chief from the Ohio Valley, Tecumseh was charismatic and politically skillful, creating a coalition among disparate tribes that first sought a diplomatic solution with the settlers and later took up arms. During the War of 1812, he aligned the tribes with the British. After some military success, Tecumseh was defeated and killed at the Battle of the Thames (Ontario) by troops under the command of future president William Henry Harrison. The sculpture draws on classical work, such as the Dying Gaul from ancient Rome, to mythologize Tecumseh as a hero of the Native people and their tragic fate, a status conveyed to him only after death." -- National Portrait Gallery
grand Chief of the Western Indians
fell in the Battle of the
Thames, 1813

The death of Tecumseh in the battle of the Thames at the hand of Richard Mentor Johnson is portrayed in this image  from the Frieze in the Capitol Rotunda. This segment of the frieze is by Filippo Costaggini.

Richard Mentor Johnson, then a Colonel  of Cavalry, took credit for killing Tecumseh. See The Portrait Gallery: Richard Mentor Johnson.

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