The Dead Soldier

People who saw English artist Joseph Wright’s The Dead Soldier on exhibit in London in 1789 were moved to tears. Wright’s painting reflects how the British struggled to cope with the wartime violence of the late 1700s, particularly in the wake of the American Revolutionary War. Thousands of British husbands, sons, and fathers suffered wounds or death for their nation. Wives became widows. Children became orphans. The Dead Soldier visualizes the personal cost of war and revolution.

The Dead Soldier
Painted by Joseph Wright of Derby 
ca. 1789 
Oil on Canvas
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection