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Triumph of Liberty. Dedicated to its Defenders in America

  • ARTIST: John Francis Renault

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Renault and Verger.

  • MEDIUM: Stipple and line engraving,

    DATE: 1796.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 11 3/4 x 18 1/16" (30 x 46.7cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: Drawn by J. F. Renault; N. York, September 1793; Engraved by P. C. Verger, N.York. November 1796.<br><br> A scarce allegorical engraving celebrating the birth of the United States.<br> A prospectus describes the print as: The Triumph of Liberty:<br> In the right of the picture is the Goddess of Liberty, rising to the skies of an obelisk, presenting a crown of oak, to which all the heroes, filled with her sublime sentiments, are worthy to aspire.<br> The book of the Law is supported by a cube of the book of the obelisk, pointing to the solidity of that moral, “The Rights of Man.”<br> On the side is a little Genius presenting to view of Marseilles Hymn.<br> On one of the steps of this monument is an urn containing the ashes of John James Rouffeau.<br> At a little distance are the three Divinities, the attendants on Liberty, (namely, Justice, holding the scales and sword; Peace presenting an Olive Branch, and Plenty with a horn full of fruit, an emblematical presage of the happiness of the people) she burns crowns, scepters, croffee of Saint Louis, spears and titles of nobility, cemented and writ with the blood of the human race.<br> On the other side of the obelisk, are the Kings, who are inimical to Liberty; they have all a particular expression of coun enance, the indicates the rage and despair that rankle in their hearts: One appears to be on the point of throwing himself headlong down a precipiee; another on the earth; a third is just going to stab himself, having the different passions of grief, rage and despair depicted in his countenance; and near them is Queen who, by the expression of her eyes visibly discovers the fury which her spirits are agitated.<br> In the left is a grand tomb, enclosing the names of those American Heroes, who have served and died in defence of Liberty and their Country, and those who have deserved well of it. Such as Franklin, Warren, Montgomery, Laurens, Hancock, Sullivan,Putnam, Samuel, Barber, Mercer, Woodter, Poor, and Green, near which is the Genius of the Country, in the habit and helmet of Minerva, bearing the colours of the nation, and at her side an Eagle, emblematical of America; incense is continually burning at the foot of the tomb, where a Pontiff is discovered singing hymns in praise of those illustrious heroes. At the bottom of the Picture is a seven headed Hydra, or Despotism tumbling into ruin.<br><br> Dedicated to the Friends of Liberty by Renault, Sen. Author of the Work.<br><br> I, the undersigned, having taken all the necessary steps for the engraving, paper and printing of the impression of the Picture of the Triumph of Liberty, in conjunction with Mr. Renault, sen. Author of the above work, we this day open a subscription at the rate of three dollars for each copy or engraving without a frame. And we can with confidence assure the public that we have spared neither trouble nor expense to procure the best paper and engraving. No money is required till the delivery of the Picture to the subscriber.<br> Renault & Verger. December 1, 1790.<br><br> John Francis Renault – late 18th, early 19th centuries. Renault was an French born allegorical and historical painter. He clamed to have been at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 as assistant secretary to Count de Grasse and an Engineer in the French Army. Two prints are known to have been produced after his drawings; The Triumph of Liberty in 1796 and British Surrendering their Arms to Gen Washington in 1819.<br> P. C. Verger. Little is known about the engraver and co-publisher of this print. This is the only known engraving that he is known to have done in America. He is known to have been working in Paris in the early 19th century as an engraver on precious stones.

  • ADDITIONAL INFO: Engraved by P.C. Verger. Second state of two- engraved 1798.

  • CONDITION: Three large expertly repaired tears into image. "100 Like Sample" inscribed in fading ink in lower margin.

  • REFERENCE: Stauffer 3344. Reilly, Amer. Political Prints, 1796-1. Fowble, 322.

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