Portrait of Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant)
Portrait of Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant)
1 More
Portrait of Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant)


Portrait of Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant)
After Charles Wilson Peale

Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant)
oil on canvas
30 x 25 in.

Bruce Gimelson, New Haven, Connecticut, 2013

New York City, Residence of John Bolton, American Ambassador to the United Nations, 2005.

Portraying a former warrior, this portrait of Thayendanegea, also known as Joseph Brant (1743-1807), is an early copy of Charles Willson Peale’s portrait, which was executed in Philadelphia probably in 1797 and is now in the collections of Independence National Historic Park, Philadelphia. Thayendanegea was a member of the Mohawk tribe and through familial connections served under William Johnson (c.1715-1774), Colonel of the Six Nations and later Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern Colonies, during the French and Indian Wars—in which he earned a reputation as a formidable fighter. After Johnson’s death in 1774, Thayendanegea travelled to London where he had an audience with George III and was painted by George Romney. During the American Revolution, he served as a Captain in the British army and through his leadership of surprise attacks in the New York-Ohio region, was known as “Monster Brant” by many. George Washington offered a bounty for his apprehension in 1779. After the War, Brant received lands in Canada from the British Government and visited Philadelphia twice, in 1792 and 1797. In his discussion of Peale’s portrait, Charles Coleman Sellers writes, “The face is full of mildness and hope, and seems to be looking into Peale’s own vision of a day of harmony among all races” (Charles Coleman Sellers, “Portraits and Miniatures by Charles Willson Peale,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 42, no. 1 (1952), p. 41).

Brought to you by

Christina Geiger
Christina Geiger Head of Department

More from The Private Collection of William S. Reese: Part Two

View All
View All