Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
Artist: Paul Revere, American, 1735–1818

The Bloody Massacre Perpetrated in King-Street Boston on March 5th 1770 by a Party of the 29th Regt.

1770

Hand-colored engraving

29.2 x 24.2 cm (11 1/2 x 9 3/4 in.)
The John Hill Morgan, B.A. 1893, LL.B. 1896, M.A. (Hon.) 1929, Collection.
1943.87
Paul Revere’s Bloody Massacre, one of the most informative broadsides publicizing an event leading to the Revolutionary War, is now among the rarest and most prized of early American engravings. Not only is Revere’s image graphically striking (complete with brilliant hand-coloring that visually equates the red of the British uniforms with the blood-stained ground), but the long inflammatory verse at the bottom of the broadside is equally rousing (denouncing the British troops as “fierce Barbarians”). Such pairing of an image with provocative text attests to Revere’s awareness of the power of the broadside as a potent political tool capable of reaching a wide public. Revere signed his plate and likely pulled several hundred impressions from it, further popularizing the artist as a man of many talents beyond silversmithing and helping to make “Paul Revere” a household name. Revere’s Bloody Massacre was so effective, in fact, that the British soldiers involved in the incident were later tried for the killings.
Culture: 
American
Period: 
18th century
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Prints
Status: 
By appointment
Bibliography: 

Helen A. Cooper, M.A. 1975, M.Phil. 1977, Ph.D. 1986 et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 3, 22, 64, 74–75, no. 27, ill.

“Paul Revere’s Philip, King of Mount Hope, from Thomas Church’s The Entertaining History of King Philip’s War: A Conservator’s Analysis,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2013): 123–124, fig. 5.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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