John Trumbull Is Born

American soldier, diplomat, author, and painter John Trumbull was born on June 6, 1756, in Lebanon, Connecticut.

Trumbull is best known for his historical paintings depicting the Revolutionary War that adorn the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. His portraits of presidents Washington, Adams, and Jefferson are also renowned.

Trumbull, son of Connecticut governor Jonathan Trumbull, served as an aide to General George Washington during the Revolution, and rose to the rank of colonel. After the war, he studied painting in London with Benjamin West. In about 1784, with encouragement from West and Thomas Jefferson, he began the series of historical paintings and engravings he worked on intermittently for the rest of his life.

John Trumbull (June 6, 1756 – November 10, 1843) was an American artist during the period of the American Revolutionary War famous for his historical paintings including his Declaration of Independence, which appears on the reverse of the $2 dollar bill.

His pieces, as far as they are executed, meet the warm applause of all who have seen them. The greatness of the design, and the masterly execution of the Work equally interest the man of a capacious mind and the approving eye of the Connoisseur. He has spared no pains in obtaining from the life the likenesses of those characters, French as well as American, who bore a conspicuous part in our Revolution; and the success with which his efforts have been crowned will form no small part of the value of his pieces.”

— George Washington