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American Paintings and Sculpture
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist: John Trumbull, American, 1756–1843
Subject: Thomas Pinckney, American, 1750–1828

Thomas Pinckney (1750–1828)


Oil on wood

3 3/4 × 3 1/8 in. (9.5 × 7.9 cm)
Trumbull Collection

Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina was special aide to the French admiral Count Charles-Hector d’Estaing at Savannah, Georgia. During the siege of Charleston in 1780, Pinckney was sent to speed the arrival of relief troops and escaped capture when the city fell. This miniature is part of a set of five depicting military officers who served during Revolutionary War campaigns in the South. With the exception of the portrait of Otho Holland Williams, these miniatures were painted by John Trumbull in Charleston, South Carolina, in February 1791. The inscriptions on the miniatures suggest that in addition to the fourteen history paintings Trumbull included in the lists he announced in 1790, he considered painting at least two other Revolutionary War scenes: The Siege of Savannah and The Attack on Charleston. Neither of these was ever executed. This miniature is one of three that Trumbull painted of Pinckney in South Carolina in 1791.

Made in Charleston, South Carolina
On view
18th century

Helen A. Cooper et al., John Trumbull: The Hand and Spirit of a Painter (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), 142, pl. 86-90.

David Preston, James Monroe, exh. cat. (Fredericksburg, Va.: University of Mary Washington, 2008), 26, 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), 101, no. 43, ill.

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.