Thursday, April 4, 2019

Revolutionary War Exhibition Opens at Anderson House

From The InTowner:
King Louis XVI of France sent thousands of French soldiers and sailors across the Atlantic to support the American War of Independence. It was an adventure none of them would forget. This special exhibition, “Revolutionary Reflections: French Memories of the War for America,” which will remain on view through next October at the Society of the Cincinnati’s historic mansion headquarters and American Revolution Institute, explores how the king’s officers understood the American Revolution and their role in the achievement of American independence, and how they remembered the war in the years that followed — years of revolutionary upheaval in France that included the execution of the king and many of their brothers-in-arms. 
Drawn from the Institute’s collections, along with loans from private collections, the exhibition pairs the written recollections of French officers with life portraits of the writers, including masterpieces by the French artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze and the great Spanish portrait painter Vicente López y Portaña. Among the treasures on view will be the original manuscript memoir of General Rochambeau, who commanded the largest French army sent to America, along with his family’s annotated copy of the published work. 
Another highlight of the exhibition is the long-lost portrait of the marquis de Saint-Simon, who commanded 4,000 French troops at Yorktown, together with Saint-Simon’s manuscript journal of the Yorktown campaign. The portrait was long owned by the marquis’ descendants, but was hidden during the Spanish Civil War and then long forgotten. The Institute acquired it and brought it to Washington in 2018. The portrait has never been displayed in a formal exhibition in the United States. The journal — yet to be published in English — has never been displayed anywhere. (Read more.)

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