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The Continentals

1875 Frank Blackwell Mayer Born: Baltimore, Maryland 1827 Died: Annapolis, Maryland 1899 oil on canvas 22 1/2 x 18 3/8 in. (57.0 x 46.7 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum George Buchanan Coale Collection 1926.6.8 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 14B

Luce Center Label

Frank Blackwell Mayer painted this scene of Continental soldiers on the centennial of the battle of Bunker Hill, the first great battle of the Revolutionary War. In 1876 he submitted it to the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, an event that celebrated the founding of the nation. The painting was highly praised and became so popular that other artists copied it enthusiastically. The cheerful image of soldiers marching through the snow to the beat of a drum and the sound of a flute reinforced the glowing myth of the war, inspiring a renewed patriotism on the nation’s one hundredth birthday. (Page, “Francis Blackwell Mayer,” The Magazine Antiques, February 1976)


Figure group - male

History - United States - Revolution

Landscape - road

Landscape - season - winter

Occupation - military - soldier

Performing arts - music - drum

Performing arts - music - flute


paint - oil

fabric - canvas