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Engagement Between the "Constitution" and the "Guerrière"

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Thomas Birch was America’s first marine painter and thus the founder of a long and great tradition. He studied under his father, William, a painter and engraver, and in 1794 the two emigrated from England to Philadelphia. The War of 1812 inspired the younger Birch to produce a series of over a...

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Lower left: T Birch 1813


Peale Museum, Baltimore. 1854, sold at the Philadelphia auction of Charles Willson Peale's collection of paintings to Joseph Harrison, Jr. (1810-1874), Philadelphia; 1874, by inheritance to his widow, Sarah Poulterer Harrison (1817-1906); March 12, 1912, Harrison sale, M. Thomas and Sons, Philadelphia to Herbert L. Pratt (1871-1945), New York; by 1945, by descent to his son, Frederick R. Pratt (1907-1966), New York. By 1977, with Coe Kerr Gallery, New York; 1978, sold by Coe Kerr Gallery to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 10, 1978)

Credit Line

Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund and Emily L. Ainsley Fund



71.12 x 92.07 cm (28 x 36 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas