© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Johan Frederik Clemens, Danish (Poland 1749 - 1831 Copenhagen)
After John Trumbull, American (Lebanon, CT 1756 - 1843 New York, NY)
Published by Antonio Cesare Poggi (active 1769 - 1836)
Death of General Montgomery
Work Type
Physical Descriptions
Engraving on cream antique laid paper
plate: 50.8 x 76.5 cm (20 x 30 1/8 in.)
sheet: 64.8 x 87.6 cm (25 1/2 x 34 1/2 in.)
framed: 83.8 × 104.3 × 4.1 cm (33 × 41 1/16 × 1 5/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: lower left, in plate: Painted by John Trumbull Esq.r
  • inscription: center, in plate: The Death of General Montgomery / In the Attack of Quebec Dec.r 1775
  • inscription: center, in plate: London, Published March 1798, by A.C. de Poggi, No. 91, New Bond Street.
  • inscription: lower right, in plate: Engraved by J.T. [sic] Clemens
  • watermark: coat-of-arms
[The Old Print Gallery, Washington, DC] sold; to Harvard Art Museums, 2015
State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
Standard Reference Number
Apell 97.4.II; LeBlanc, II.22.9
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Anonymous Fund for the Acquisition of Prints Older than 150 Years
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Label Text: The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820 , written 2017
John Trumbull, Harvard class of 1773, was among the first artists to use the new mode of history painting to depict events from the American past. In 1785, while studying with Benjamin West in London, he conceived of a series of large-scale oil paintings chronicling significant battles and diplomatic achievements from the Revolutionary War. Trumbull eloquently articulated the stakes of his project in a 1786 letter to his friend John Eliot: “I am now . . . employ’d writing, in my language, the History of our country.”
Trumbull ultimately painted eight Revolutionary scenes and produced prints after two of these works. In 1799, he dispatched impressions of Death of General Montgomery and Battle of Bunker’s Hill to the Philosophy Chamber. Though these engravings depict scenes of American defeat, they reference ancient sculptures and emphasize the Classical ideals that stood at the core of the new nation’s identity: valor, bravery, and sacrifice for one’s country. In Battle of Bunker’s Hill, British Major John Small prevents a soldier from bayonetting the fallen American general Joseph Warren, who has just taken a musket shot to the head. The adjacent print depicts the noble death of General Montgomery, who expired while leading an attack on the British fortification at Quebec.

Publication History

Ethan Lasser, ed., The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017), p. 120, Plate 56a

Exhibition History

The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/19/2017 - 12/31/2017; The Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, 04/17/2018 - 07/15/2018

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu