John Trumbull (American, Lebanon, Connecticut 1756–1843 New York)
Oil on canvas
30 3/4 x 24 3/4 in. (78.1 x 62.9 cm)
Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1881
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 726
While still in his teens, Hamilton (1757–1804) plunged into the revolutionary cause and was propelled headlong into the political arena. During the war, he distinguished himself by his intellect and military savvy. He later served in the Continental Congress, where he advocated a strong central government. He is perhaps best known for his activities as secretary of the treasury under George Washington and for his crucial role in establishing the first national bank, The Bank of New York. There was a great demand for portraits of Hamilton after his death by duel with Aaron Burr, and Trumbull produced several replicas, including this example, of a portrait he had made from life. Nearly a century later, the painting became the first early American work to enter the museum's collection.
Henry Gurdon Marquand, New York and Newport, Rhode Island (until 1881)