|Title||Gen. Marion in His Swamp Encampment Inviting a British Officer to Dinner.|
after painting by John Blake White
|Medium||Mezzotint, black and white|
|Dimensions||h. 18.25 x w. 20.375 in. ( h. 46.355 x w. 51.7525 cm)|
|Credit Line||U.S. Senate Collection|
In 1840 noted Philadelphia engraver John Sartain copied John Blake Whites painting of General Marion Inviting a British Officer to Share His Meal, now owned by the U.S. Senate. The mezzotint was made for the Apollo Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in the United States, a group that showcased American painters by making their work available to a wider audience. Sartains print was the first in a series of engravings made from American paintings and distributed to the associations members. He received numerous commissions throughout his career to create prints based on paintings by such noted artists as Thomas Sully and Benjamin West. Sartain is credited with introducing illustrations into American periodicals and pioneering mezzotint engraving. This image depicts one of the many legendary exploits of Revolutionary War General Francis Marion. According to the tale, while camped on Snows Island, South Carolina, around 1781, the general received a British officer who had been sent to arrange an exchange of prisoners. After completing their business, General Marion (right center with plumed shako) asked the visiting officer to stay for a meal. The officer was surprised by the modest fare and the dedication of the American soldiers.