Painting, Harriet

Painting, Harriet

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This 1793 print attributed to Gerrit Groenewegen shows three small brigs in port. The brig in the foreground is identified by “HARRIET of Georgetown” written on its stern. It is flying an American flag. The flag has 13 stars, which dates it to between 1777 and 1795. The two ships on either side are both flying tri-color horizontally striped blue-white-red flags. The blue-white-red flag is used by the small European country of Schleswig-Holstein, which at times has belonged to both Denmark and Germany. Perhaps the artist meant to paint the flag of the Netherlands and reversed the blue and red stripes accidentally. The buildings rising from the shore in the background and the European clothing of the individuals indicate that the ships most likely lie in port of a European harbor, perhaps Dutch. Gerrit Groenewegen (1754-1826) was a Dutch artist originally taught to be a shipbuilder until an accident at the shipyard caused the loss of one of his legs. After the accident he studied under Nicholaes Muys to become an artist, and began his career as a maritime painter. He is best known for his serial of 84 engravings depicting Dutch vessels in port at Rotterdam. Some of the features of this print do not match other attributes of this artist, calling the date and attribution into question.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1793
Groenewegen, Gerrit
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 8 in x 12 1/2 in; 20.32 cm x 31.75 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
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Work and Industry: Maritime
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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