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The description of THE MENTOR

THE work of John Trumbull as a historical painter has already been considered in The Mentor (No. 45), and in that number, too, the main facts of his life are told. John Trumbull was a patriotic American and a leader in the artistic and public life of his day, both in England and in America. His position was much more than that of a painter. His attitude toward painting was not one of complete and whole souled devotion. "I am fully sensible," he wrote at one time, "that the profession of painting as it is generally practised is frivolous, and unworthy a man who has talents for more serious pursuits. But to preserve and diffuse the memory of the noblest series of actions which have ever presented themselves in the history of man is sufficient warrant for it." We see accordingly that John Trumbull's idea of the work of a painter was to write history on canvas with a brush—and his pictures bear out his idea.
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