Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Colonel Guy Johnson and Karonghyontye (Captain David Hill), 1776

What can you say about this painting by Benjamin West? Guy Johnson biography is here he was an Indian Department official. 'David Hill' was a Mohawk leader - a contemporary of Brant. It's not known if he visited London as Brant did and was captured on canvas then. I've lightened a few sections to show the detail which is fascinating. Note the cap - a studio prop as seen on many paintings of West such as the Death of Wolfe and even the picture of Robert Rogers executed about this time in London. Presumably we can at least consider this headgear as worn in the 1770s. Maybe it's the type of headgear worn by Loyalists such as the King's Royal Yorkers - see below.

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