Antique Print of Battle of Palo Alto Mexican War by W T Trego in Frame
Here is a great old print. also known as a photogravure of the Mexican War battle at Palo Alto. The artist is W T Trego. Recently picked the piece up at an auction. This is not a modern day dotted print, this piece definitely has some age to it. This is an older piece that was done on older paper. The original painting commissioned by George Barrie was done in 1892 for a book he was doing. The book was put out in the mid to latter 1890s. This photgravure may be one of those from that book (the dimensions of the photogravure match up with the size noted in the michener museum details below), but no way to be sure. The piece being offered here does appear to be hand colored.
The print appears to be laid down on paper. I see no foxing or brown spotting issues to report. Great coloring and details.
The print has a great wood frame on it. Has gold colored paint where the frame makes contact with the area under the glass. The glass is still intact, no blistering or cracks. The frame is 16-3/8" across by 11.75" tall. The print is 13-5/8" across, by 9" tall. Let us know if you have any questions or need additional pictures.
Here is some information about the piece and the printer George Barrie of Philadelphia (http://www.michenermuseum.org/catalogue/trego/?article=110);
Field Artillery: Major Ringold Directing the Operations of his Battery, Palo Alto, May 8, 1846. 1892
Photogravure from The Army and Navy of the United States. Private Collection.
Vital StatisticsOil on canvas, Dimensions of original unknown
Signed lr: “W. T. Trego”
Location of original unknown. It is presumed lost.
CommentaryThis was one of seven works commissioned by publisher George Barrie as illustrations for his monumental The Army and Navy of the United States, published in Philadelphia, 1889–95. It was reproduced in section 6 as a 13½-by-9-inch photogravure, hand colored in deluxe editions. The image was also issued separately as a black-and-white mounted print.
Samuel B. Ringold (1796–1846) was an artillery officer sometimes called the “Father of Modern Artillery” as a result of his several military innovations. He was the first U.S. officer to fall in the Mexican-American War, dying from wounds received during the battle of Palo Alto. Trego’s painting, then, served as a kind of memorial to Ringold.
The original for Trego’s painting of Major Ringold apparently does not survive, but an oil study for the mounted officer on the far left hand side of the composition does. It provides evidence that Trego’s work for the George Barrie project was done with the artist’s usual laborious and meticulous planning, which included separate oil studies for all significant figures in a painting.
Here is some information about the artist, W T Trego (different font) from our friends at Wikipedia:
William B. T. Trego
|William B. T. Trego|
William B. T. Trego in his studio in 1893
|Born||September 15, 1858
|Died||June 24, 1909
|Training||Jonathan K. Trego,
William B. T. Trego was born in Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1858, the son of the artist Jonathan Kirkbridge Trego. At the age of two William's hands and feet became nearly paralyzed, either from polio, or from a doctor administering a dose of calomel (mercurous chloride). Trego's family moved to Detroit in 1874 where William was enrolled in the local school, but an incident where 16 year old William burned off all his hair with a gas jet made his father decide to teach William in his studio from then on. Despite his crippled hands, young William showed an aptitude for art, learning to paint with a brush jammed in his right hand while he guided it with his left. William Trego first received public attention when he exhibited a painting titled The Charge of Custer at Winchester in 1879 at the Michigan State Fair. His depiction of George Armstrong Custer's charge at the Third Battle of Winchester was described by the Cleveland Press as "one of the best historical paintings of the kind that has ever been produced by an American artist."
Pennsylvania Academy years
Later that year, Trego used the proceeds from the sale of The Charge of Custer at Winchester to enroll himself at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied at PAFA for three years under Thomas Eakins, in courses that included instruction on aspects of the human figure, including anatomical study of the human and animal body and surgical dissection. Trego did not appreciate Eakins' rigorous, terse teaching style, and would later remark:
- "Fortunately for myself I was drilled in the principles of drawing in my father's studio before I went to the Academy, so that I was able to some extent to brave the sarcasm and neglect of Eakins"
In an 1882 Academy exhibition, Trego won the first Toppan Prize for his work, Battery of Light Artillery en Route, and the painting was subsequently purchased for the Academy by Fairman Rogers. In 1883, Trego received what he thought was a snub from the Academy when the art jury for the Temple Competition of Historical Paintings, a competition intended to help revive historical painting by limiting entries to depictions of the American War of Independence", decided there were no paintings of sufficient quality to merit a 1st or second place, and awarded Trego 3rd place for his painting of George Washington and his troops called The March to Valley Forge. Trego sued the Academy on the grounds that if his painting was the best overall, it should receive first place (and he should get the $3,000 prize money). In 1886 he lost the case, with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling the jury was well within their rights under the contract of the exhibit to award prizes as they saw fit.
North Wales studio
After leaving the Academy, Trego lived in North Wales, Pennsylvania, with his mother and father. Except for trips abroad, Trego would live in North Wales for the rest of his life, working in a studio behind his house. He used the town residents, their horses, and the surrounding landscape as models and backdrops for his paintings. Trego was becoming well known for the accuracy of his military depictions as well as the honest, sometimes brutal realism, especially in his Civil War subjects The Civil War works were well received and Trego had much success selling paintings during that time.
In 1887, he went to Paris to study at the Académie Julian under the French academic painters Tony Robert-Fleury and William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Trego studied at the French museums while he was there and enjoyed the Paris night life with other Pennsylvania Academy alumni such as Robert Henri, Augustus B. Koopman, Henry McCarter, and Frederick J. Waugh. Trego also participated in the Paris Salons of 1889 and 1890, gaining some recognition for his 1889 submission, a military painting titled The End of the Charge of von Bredow’s Brigade at Rezonville depicting German cavalry units charge against French during the Franco-Prussian War. One French writer thought this work put Trego on par with the famous French academic military artist, Édouard Detaille. On his ocean voyage home from Paris in 1890, Trego returned to America not only with new found knowledge of French academic painting, he also returned with a French fiancée. But in a sad and very public event on board ship, the "handsome French girl" (as reported in the newspapers of the time) switched her affections to fellow Académie Julian student James R. Fisher. When they arrived in Philadelphia the news papers reported the two artists as parting "bitter enemies".
After his return to the States, Trego's work received much acclaim from critics. In 1891, noted American art collector Thomas Benedict Clarke wrote of Trego:
- "In the accomplishment of his work, which is marked by strength, firmness, and force, he has had to overcome physical infirmities that would have made a less brave and earnest character halt at the threshold."
Despite these accolades and the prestige of exhibiting in the Paris Salon, Trego found it hard to sell paintings due to the declining in popularity of realistic military artwork. He painted portraits and genre paintings to make money and took on work doing book and magazine illustration. He also tried unsuccessfully to become an instructor at The Pennsylvanian Academy of the Fine Arts. He lived with, and was supported by, his parents during the 1890s. Trego's father died in 1901 and his stepmother died six years later. Trego's increasing financial problems during this time made him take on students including Walter Emerson Baum and his wife, Flora. Trego tried to revive his career by basing a painting on the popular novel Ben Hur with one of his last works, The Chariot Race from Ben Hur (1908). He sent it to the 1909 National Academy of Design exhibition in New York but it failed to spark any interest. William Trego was found unconscious in his studio on June 24, 1909 and was dead by the time the doctor arrived. His obituary in The New York Times reported that he died of "overexertion" due to "excessive heat". His death has been characterized as a suicide by gunshot or poison. The contents of his North Wales studio were left to Walter Emerson Baum.
During his lifetime, Trego had painted over 200 historical and military paintings. These would become so widely published after his death that writer Edwin Augustus Peeples commented:
- "There is probably not an American History book which doesn't have (a) Trego picture in it".
In 1976, Trego's The March to Valley Forge had become such an iconic image of that event that it was reproduced as a souvenir postage sheet issued by the United States Postal Service as part of the observance of the United States Bicentennial.
A book was published about Trego's life, So Bravely and So Well: The Life and Art of William T. Trego, by Joseph P. Eckhardt, in 2011.
- Illustration for the Century - Smithsonian Institution, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
- Horse Artillery Going into Battery, Petersburg, Va. and A Mortar Battery Firing - United States Department of the Army, United States Military Academy, West Point Museum
- Battery of Light Artillery En Route - Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
- The March to Valley Forge (1883) - The American Revolution Center
- The Chariot Race (1908) and Civil War Battle Scene (1887) - James A. Michener Art Museum
- Hancock's Corps Assaulting the Works at the "Bloody Angle" (1887) - Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
- Jonathan K. Trego (1817–1901) and The Rescue of the Colors - Bucks County Historical Society
Exhibitions and awards
- Michigan State Fair, 1879 - The Charge of Custer at Winchester
- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1882 - Toppan Prize,
- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1883 - Temple Competition of Historical Paintings, Silver Medal
- Paris Salon, 1889
- Paris Salon, 1890
- World's Columbian Exposition, 1893
- Cotton States and International Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia, 1895
- American Art Society, Silver Medal, 1902
- National Academy of Design exhibition, New York, 1909 - The Chariot Race from Ben Hur
- James A. Michener Art Museum exhibition, Doylestown, PA, 2011 - Various works
Don't be shy, I am always open to reasonable offers! Also, if you purchase this
piece at the Buy It Now price I am offering free shipping within the