John Lewis Krimmel (American, 17871821)
Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on white laid paper; 9 x 7 1/4 in. (22.9 x 18.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1942 (42.95.21)
The oldest active volunteer mounted military unit in the United States, the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry was organized in 1774 in defense of the colonies. Shortly after commencement of war with Great Britain in the summer of 1812, the troop drilled several times a month for over a year; such an assembly may have provided the stimulus for this composition. The elongated proportions and friezelike arrangement of the soldiers depicted here are similar to the figures found in Krimmel's highly successful oil painting View of Center Square on the Fourth of July (1812; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia).