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Yale University Art Gallery – Virtual Tour

Yale University Art Gallery

Yale University Art Gallery – Virtual Tour

The Yale University Art Gallery houses a significant collection of art in several buildings on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

The gallery has a strong emphasis on early Italian painting, African sculpture, and modern art.

A Virtual Tour of the Yale University Art Gallery

Highlights of the Yale University Art Gallery

The Night Café” by Vincent van Gogh

“The Night Café” by Vincent van Gogh depicts the interior of Café de la Gare in Arles. Five customers are sitting at tables, and a waiter in a light coat is standing and facing the viewer. 

A half-curtained doorway in the center background is leading to the private quarters. 

The title of this painting is inscribed lower right beneath the signature. In highly contrasting and vivid colors, the paint is applied thickly, with the perspective leading toward the door in the back.

Van Gogh stayed up for three consecutive nights to paint the picture, sleeping during the day.

The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776″ by John Trumbull

“The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776” by John Trumbull depicts the capture of the Hessian soldiers at the Battle of Trenton on the morning of December 26, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War.

At the center is General George Washington aiding the mortally wounded Hessian Colonel. Trumbull’s intended was to show the compassion of General George Washington in this painting.

The Battle of Trenton was a pivotal battle during the American Revolutionary War. It followed Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River north of Trenton the previous night.

Washington led the Continental Army against Hessian soldiers garrisoned at Trenton. After a brief battle, nearly the entire force of 900 Hessians was captured, with negligible losses to the Americans. 

John Trumbull – Self-Portrait by John Trumbull

John Trumbull was an American artist during the period of the American Revolutionary War and was notable for his historical paintings.

His painting “Declaration of Independence” was used on the commemorative bicentennial two-dollar bill.

Trumbull also incorporated the likeness of his portraits into his depiction of the signing of the “Declaration of Independence.” It is on display in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776″ by John Trumbull

“Declaration of Independence” by John Trumbull depicts the presentation of the draft of the Declaration of Independence to Congress.

The painting is often incorrectly described as the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The picture shows the five-person drafting committee presenting their draft of the Declaration to Congress. 

Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are the two in front, and John Adams is to the right of Jefferson.

In the painting, Thomas Jefferson standing with the red vest appears to be stepping on John Adams’ foot. Many thought this symbolized their relationship as political enemies.

The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777″ by John Trumbull

“The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777” by John Trumbull depicts the death of the American General Hugh Mercer during the American Revolutionary War.

The composition illustrates several different events during the battle as if they co-occurred at one point in time. The Battle of Princeton was fought near Princeton, New Jersey, which ended in a small victory for the Colonials.

In the center is the American General Hugh Mercer, as he leans on his dying horse beneath him, as he lies wounded.

“The Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec, December 31, 1775” by John Trumbull

“The Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec, December 31, 1775” by John Trumbull depicts the American General’s tragic death during the Invasion of Quebec, a major military operation by the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War.

General Richard Montgomery is shown in full military uniform, illuminated in the middle of the painting, fatally wounded by grapeshot and supported by Matthias Ogden.

In front of them are two of Montgomery’s aides-de-camp, both captains dead and lying in the snow, near a broken cannon. Behind Montgomery and are three Lieutenants and to the left are is Oneida chief Joseph Louis Cook, shown with his raised tomahawk.

Three Majors are in the left foreground showing their in shock at Montgomery’s death. Although all the composition figures represent actual historical figures, the theatrical narrative is contrived to depict a historical event.  

Ogden, who is shown holding General Montgomery, was with Benedict Arnold attacking a different part of the city during the battle, and Aaron Burr should have been depicted instead.

“Surrender of General Burgoyne” by John Trumbull

“Surrender of General Burgoyne” by John Trumbull depicts the British surrender at Saratoga, New York, in 1777, after the Second Battle of Saratoga.

The American victory was a turning-point and an enormous morale boost. It also convinced France to enter the war in alliance with the United States, openly providing money, soldiers, and munitions and fighting a naval war worldwide against Britain.

The depiction includes many leaders of the American Continental Army and militia forces that took part in the battle. The central figure represents the American General Horatio Gates.

Burgoyne is shown giving his sword to Gates, who immediately returned it as a sign of respect and invited him into his tent.

All of the figures in the scene are portraits of specific officers. Trumbull planned this outdoor scene to complement his painting Declaration of Independence.

The American officers are shown gathered at the sides to witness the event. The officers wear their dress uniforms, their weapons are sheathed or slung, and cannons stand silent.

Yale University Art Gallery

  • Name:                   Yale University Art Gallery
  • City:                       New Haven, Connecticut
  • Established:          1832
  • Type:                     Art museum
  • Location:              1111 Chapel St., New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Map for the Yale University Art Gallery

Yale University Art Gallery Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures

Virtual Tour of the Museums in New Haven, Connecticut

Yale’s Modern Masterpieces

Art for All: Yale University Art Gallery

New York Museums

Washington, D.C. Museums


” Well done is better than well said.”
– Benjamin Franklin


Photo Credit: By Ragesoss (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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