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One of the most iconic commemorative works on the American Revolution, William B. T. Trego’s March to Valley Forge was painted in Philadelphia and exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1883. Trego’s inspiration was a passage from Washington Irving’s Life of Washington: "Sad and dreary was the march to Valley Forge, uncheered by the recollection of any recent triumph. . . Hungry and cold were the poor fellows who had so long been keeping the field . . . provisions were scant, clothing was worn out, and so badly were they off for shoes, that the footsteps of many might be tracked in blood." Trego suffered a debilitating illness as a child (possibly polio) that left him unable to move his fingers and hands. He painted this masterful work by gripping a brush between the thumb and forefinger of one hand while moving it with the other.

Artwork Details

  • The March to Valley Forge, December 19, 1777
    Painted by William Brooke Thomas Trego
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1883
    Oil on Canvas
    Museum of the American Revolution, Conserved with Funds Provided by the Society of the Descendants of Washington's Army at Valley Forge
    2003.00.0415  

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