The Spirit of 76

It is perhaps the most recognizable painting of drummers ever produced. “The Spirit of 76” was painted by Archibald M. Willard. Willard joined the 86th Ohio Infantry in 1863 and fought in the American Civil War. During this time, he painted several scenes with a wartime theme. He painted “The Spirit of 76” about 1875. This painting symbolizes the essence of the American Revolution and was exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The painting was sent on a tour of several major cities and then was purchased by General John H. Devereux and presented to his native town, Marblehead, Massachusetts. The models for the painting included the artist’s father for the central drummer and a farmer-soldier named Hugh Mosher for the fifer. The model for the boy drummer was Henry K. Devereux, son of General Devereux. Today the painting hangs in the Selectmen’s Room of Abbot Hall in Marblehead.

1 Comment

Filed under Drums and Drumming

One response to “The Spirit of 76

  1. E.Hood

    Hello Michael,
    My name is Eric Hood and I was
    just wondering if you have ever traveled to Marblehead to view this magnificent portrait live in person?!? Also,I thoroughly enjoy your posts. Keep up the good work!

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