Prayer at Valley Forge by Arnold Friberg - Framed
Overall Print Size: 27"w x 17"h
Framed Size: 37"w x 28"h
Published By: The Estate of Arnold Friberg
Arnold Friberg painted “The Prayer at Valley Forge” to celebrate our country’s bicentennial in 1976. Since then, Arnold Friberg’s now famous painting has become an important part of American history, reminding us of the days our country hung in the balance.
Originally painted in 1976 to honor our country's bi-centennial year, The Prayer at Valley Forge in the last 30 years has become increasingly cherished and recognized as a supreme 20th century masterpiece of patriotic American art. In it we feel the cold, the suffering, and the weight of the burden falling on that tall and lonely man, driven to his knees there in the bitter snows of Valley Forge.
The Artist's thoughts on the painting:
"Since I was a boy, I have revered General Washington. At age 12, I drew what I thought was a fine picture of him astride his white horse. Along with learning the American legend of his praying at , this deep inspiration of boyhood was never to leave me."
"And so it was that I waited many years to picture him again, in prayer now, in the snow, dismounted from his strong horse — only this time in the full power and richness of oil colors."
"To prepare for this painting, to insure accuracy in trees and landscape, I made a pilgrimage to Valley Forge, in the dead of winter. In the summer, the place is filled with visitors. But now, in the snows of February, it was deserted, the wind moaning through the great trees — silent, lonely, and cold. It was a cold that chilled to the bone, a cold that froze my fingers until I could no longer sketch nor even snap my camera."
"To insure accuracy in man-made things, I sought out whatever museums, collections, libraries, or informed individuals could offer on horse gear or uniform. At the Smithsonian Military History Museum, I made minutely accurate sketches from the very uniform actually worn by Washington."
"As for facial likeness, I studied every portrait ever sketched, carved, or painted from life, but always keeping in mind how cold and rawboned he must have looked during that winter encampment."
"But such research, vital as it is, provides only physical facts. What I really tried for was, through the medium of paint, to recall the pain, the cold of that cruel winter of 1777-78. I sought to pay tribute to the tall and heavy-burdened man who alone held our struggling nation together."
"For, while the British grew fat and warm and well-fed in Philadelphia, it was the man Washington who stayed with his starving and freezing army through that dreadful winter at Valley Forge. It was in desperation that he wrote to the governor of New Jersey, 'Our sick naked, our well naked, our unfortunate men in captivity naked?' With his own countrymen indifferent to their condition, where else could he turn but to God?"
"It should be plain to anyone that this is a symbolic picture, yet the event is not without historical documentation through eye-witness accounts of Valley Forge residents. But from Washington's own words there can be no doubt of his deep and humbled dependence upon whom he chose to call that all-wise and powerful Being on whom alone our success depends."
"It is my hope that coming through this picture will once again whisper the spirit of Valley Forge, of suffering and devotion and pain, of liberty, and of the hand of God in the affairs of men."
Framed Print With Brass Corners, UV Acrylic, Three Archival Mats, V-Groove, and Plaque.