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The Trial of Red Jacket

1869 John Mix Stanley Born: Canandaigua, New York 1814 Died: Detroit, Michigan 1872 oil on canvas 23 1/2 x 36 1/8 in. (59.7 x 91.7 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of George M. Stanley (grandson of the artist) and family and museum purchase 1990.34 Not currently on view


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Red Jacket (1758-1830) was a famous leader of the Seneca tribe of the Iroquois Nation. In this ambitious painting, John Mix Stanley showed the chief defending himself against a charge of witchcraft. Under his white robe is the red jacket given to him by a British officer for his help as a messenger during the American Revolution. Stanley trained as a portrait painter, and all of the figures in this work are portraits of identifiable individuals. The Trial of Red Jacket was almost destroyed in the Smithsonian Institution's fire of 1865. (Antiques, November 1990; Javiga da Costa Nunes, "Red Jacket: The Man and his Portraits," The American Art Journal, Summer 1980)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian - Seneca

Figure group

History - United States - Trial of Red Jacket

Occupation - education - orator

Occupation - other - chief

Portrait male - RED JACKET

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About John Mix Stanley

Born: Canandaigua, New York 1814 Died: Detroit, Michigan 1872

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John Mix Stanley