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Current Print >> 4 of 12:  1781

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AMERICA. To THOSE, who wish to SHEATHE the DESOLATING SWORD of WAR. And, to RESTORE the BLESSINGS of PEACE and AMITY, to a divided PEOPLE.

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An allegory of the restoration of peace and prosperity to America following the Revolution. The print is based on a 1778 painting by British artist Robert Edge Pine, which was destroyed by fire in 1803. It was one of several antimonarchial works painted by Pine during the Revolution. A 1784 catalog of a Philadelphia exhibition of Pine's painting describes it as follows:

"A picture painted in the year 1778, representing the following Allegory: America, after having suffered the several evils of war, bewailed its unhappy cause, and lamented over the victims of its fury--her ruined towns--destroy'd commerce, &c. &c. On the appearance of Peace, is represented an extacy of gratitude to the Almighty--Heroic Virtue presents Liberty attended by Concord--Industry, followed by Plenty and her Train, form a group expressive of Population; and Ships denote Commerce."

America, on the left, is a bejeweled Indian Queen robed in furs. Above her, the figure of Peace, holding an olive branch, appears from the clouds. Heroic Virtue (center) is represented by Hercules; Concord holds bundled fasces, Industry a beehive, and Plenty a cornucopia.

In 1784 a proof of the print was sent to George Washington by George William Fairfax, stating that it was "expressive of the great Oppressions and Calamities of America, also the glorious Revolution with which it pleased Heaven to terminate the infernal War," and that the figure of Heroic Virtue was to represent General Washington.

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Current Print >> 4 of 12:  1781

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