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John Paul Jones



On 23 Sep 2013 wrote:

Charles Willson Peale may have painted his museum portrait of Jones as early as 1781. Jones wears the French Cross of the Institution of Military Merit (the gold medal hanging from a blue ribbon through the top left buttonhole). Louis XVI presented this medal to him in 1780. Early in the following year, Jones returned to Philadelphia, where Congress confirmed his acceptance of the French decoration. Peale knew of the congressional honor and he may have taken Jones's portrait during the six-month period in 1781 when the captain was in America to receive it. On the other hand, Jones returned to Philadelphia in 1783; that may have been the occasion of this portrait.

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