The Trial of Red Jacket

Media - 1990.34 - SAAM-1990.34_1 - 10943
Copied John Mix Stanley, The Trial of Red Jacket, 1869, oil on canvas, 23 1236 18 in. (59.791.7 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of George M. Stanley (grandson of the artist) and family and museum purchase , 1990.34
Free to use

Artwork Details

The Trial of Red Jacket
Not on view
23 1236 18 in. (59.791.7 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of George M. Stanley (grandson of the artist) and family and museum purchase 
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Figure group
  • Occupation — other — chief
  • Occupation — education — orator
  • Indian — Seneca
  • History — United States — Trial of Red Jacket
Object Number

Artwork Description

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)