Thomas Birch
USS Wasp and HMS Frolic
Oil on Canvas
ca. 1815
Peabody Essex Museum

"Thomas Birch was famous for his representations of the naval engagements during the War of 1812. Not only did he create a dynamic relationship between the two warships, he also included distinct human figures on the decks, enhancing the impression of the battle's drama. Naval victories were important symbols of national pride, and Birch's depictions of the triumphant young U.S. Navy received wide acclaim." Quoted from ARTscape, online at the Peabody Essex Museum website: