Lieutenant John Montgomery Dale

Lieutenant John Montgomery Dale

Thomas Sully (1783–1872)


Oil on canvas

Sewell C. Biggs bequest; 2004.429

Members of the country’s military were eager to memorialize the heroics of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, so they simply commissioned their own portraits. Patriotic fervor is demonstrated by the illusion of the officer’s wind-tussled hair and gleaming decoration of his uniform, created by a freer brush stroke and less precise application of paint on the canvas.