"Marquis de Lafayette" Engine Panel Painting

Description
In the nineteenth century, volunteer fire companies often commissioned paintings to decorate their hand-pumped fire engines for parades, competitions, and community events. Sometimes framed with elaborate carvings, they adorned the tall air chamber located at the middle or rear of a pumper. The paintings would often feature patriotic, heroic, or allegorical images to associate the volunteer companies with these lofty ideals.
The panel is attributed to the Lafayette Hose Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that was active from 1833-1871. The fact that the painting is circular and small means that it may not have been a fire engine panel, and could have been used for a funeral procession honoring Lafayette after his death. Lafayette was highly respected due to his military service in the Continental Army and the role France played in winning the Revolutionary War. He was greeted with parades and celebrations on his return to the United States in 1824, and many fire companies participated in funeral processions upon his death to honor his contribution to the founding of the nation.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1830-1849
artist attribution
Sully, Thomas
maker
unknown
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
oil paint (image material)
Measurements
overall: 7 in x 6 1/2 in; 17.78 cm x 16.51 cm
ID Number
2005.0233.0315
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0315
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
subject
Fire Fighting
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Work
Cultures & Communities
Art
Engine Panel Paintings
Firefighting Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

Add a comment about this object