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Lieutenant John Trumbull Ray

ca. 1814 Andrew Robertson Born: Aberdeen, Scotland 1777 Died: London, England 1845 watercolor on ivory 3 1/4 x 2 5/8 in. (8.4 x 6.7 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Catherine Walden Myer Fund 1944.4.1 Not currently on view


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John Trumbull Ray was the illegitimate son of Captain John Trumbull, one of colonial America’s leading portrait painters. Following the death of his first love, Trumbull had an affair with one of his brother’s servants, a woman named Temperance Ray; in 1792 she bore a son who strongly resembled Trumbull. Trumbull provided money for the boy’s upbringing, passing him off as his “nephew.” Against his father’s wishes, Ray enlisted in the British army in 1812, and served in the Peninsular War under Wellington. In 1814 he was made lieutenant, and arranged to have this miniature painted by Andrew Robertson. The artist Thomas Seir Cummings made a copy of Robertson’s painting, which is also in this collection. [see 1942.11.9]

Keywords

Occupation - military - colonel

Portrait male - Ray, John Trumbull - bust

painting - miniature

paint - watercolor

ivory

About Andrew Robertson

Born: Aberdeen, Scotland 1777 Died: London, England 1845

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Andrew Robertson