Commodore Jacob Jones, USN

Commodore Jacob Jones, USN

Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860)

ca. 1813-14

Oil on canvas

Commodore Jacob Jones, a native of Smyrna, Delaware, was a widely heralded hero of the War of 1812. The work follows closely in line with Rembrandt Peale’s other representations of American war heroes, which often featured evocative clouds in the background and dashingly windswept hair styles. The work provides an example of the ways in which American citizens and American painters integrated Napoleonic fashions and European Romantic artistic styles into their lives, in keeping with their French sympathies during this era.

For Further Thinking: What aspects of the painting do you think suggest Commodore Jones’ heroism?

How is this portrayal similar or different to how we portray war heroes and heroic people today?