The Continentals

Media - 1926.6.8 - SAAM-1926.6.8_1 - 63287
Copied Frank Blackwell Mayer, The Continentals, 1875, oil on canvas, 22 1218 38 in. (57.046.7 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, George Buchanan Coale Collection, 1926.6.8
Free to use

Artwork Details

The Continentals
22 1218 38 in. (57.046.7 cm.)
lower left in oil: F.B.M./1875
Credit Line
George Buchanan Coale Collection
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Group
  • Figure group — male
  • Landscape — road
  • Landscape — season — winter
  • Performing arts — music — drum
  • Occupation — military — soldier
  • Performing arts — music — flute
  • History — United States — Revolution
Object Number

Artwork Description

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)