Richard Butler (1743–1791) Artist: John Trumbull (American, 1756–1843)


American Paintings and Sculpture

On view, 2nd floor, American Art before 1900

Richard Butler began his military career as an Indian agent, authorized by the U.S. government to negotiate with American Indian tribes in western Pennsylvania. He joined the Continental army in 1775, participating in the battles of Saratoga, New York, and Yorktown, Virginia. He later became a government commissioner for negotiations with a number of eastern tribes, including the Iroquois, Chippewa, Ottawa, and Shawnee. John Trumbull painted his portrait in 1790 in Philadelphia during an intense period of portrait-gathering. One year after this portrait was painted, Butler was mortally wounded during a campaign against American Indians in the Ohio Country.


Oil on wood


3 3/4 × 2 7/8 in. (9.5 × 7.3 cm)

Credit Line

Trumbull Collection

Accession Number



18th century


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 records is ongoing.

  • John F. Winkler, Wabash 1791: St. Clair's Defeat (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2011), 19, ill
  • Helen A. Cooper 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), 106, no. 48, ill
  • Helen A. Cooper et al., John Trumbull: The Hand and Spirit of a Painter (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), 139, pl. 76-80
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

miniatures (paintings), portraits


Signed verso: "Richard Butler. Esqr./Lieut. Colo. of a Rifle Corps in/War of the American Revolu/=tion:- present at the capture/of Genl. Burgoyne./afterwards a Majr. Genl. & killed in the Battle of the/4th Nov. 1792 near the Miami/Villages--/Painted by J. Trumbull at Phila. 1790."

Technical metadata and APIs


Open in Mirador

View IIIF manifest

The International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF, is an open standard for delivering high-quality, attributed digital objects online at scale. Visit to learn more

Linked Art

API response for this object

Linked Art is a Community working together to create a shared Model based on Linked Open Data to describe Art.