Lieutenant John Trumbull Ray

  • Thomas Seir Cummings, Andrew Robertson, Lieutenant John Trumbull Ray, ca. 1830, watercolor on ivory, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Catherine Walden Myer Fund, 1942.11.9

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. She bore a son in 1792 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 Andrew Robertson, a leading Scottish miniaturist, paint his portrait. Thomas Seir Cummings made two copies of that miniature, one of which is on display here.

Lieutenant John Trumbull Ray
Copy after Andrew Robertson
ca. 1830
Not on view
sight 3 182 12 in. (8.06.2 cm) oval 
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase through the Catherine Walden Myer Fund

Mediums Description
watercolor on ivory
  • Portrait male – Ray, John Trumbull – bust
  • Occupation – military – captain
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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