John Trumbull is recognized as the most celebrated painter of American history. Born into a prominent Connecticut family, he volunteered for the Continental Army, serving briefly as aide-de-camp to George Washington. After the war he studied painting in London under the American expatriate Benjamin West. Inspired by the European tradition of history painting and encouraged by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, Trumbull conceived an ambitious cycle of twelve monumental paintings, each depicting a significant moment in the American Revolution and the founding of the republic. These paintings, some of which hang in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, have entered the collective American consciousness and become the way we imagine our beginnings as a nation.