Pierre L’Enfante Watercolor Depicting Washington’s War Tent Found

A 235-year-old watercolor painting depicting a Continental Army encampment was recently discovered by Philip Mead, president of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. It is the only contemporary depiction of George Washington’s war tent, which serves as the museum’s marquee exhibit. Researchers at the museum were able to determine that the artist was Pierre l’Enfant, who later engineered the city plan for Washington, DC. The painting appeared on an online art auction just months after the museum opened in April and was purchased for $12,000. It will be the centerpiece of a new exhibit, Among His Troops: Washington’s War Tent in a Newly Discovered Watercolor, which will be on view at the museum from January 13 to February 19, 2018.

Lucy Davis is the Digital Media Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities. She studies public history at Rutgers University, Camden.