The Prayer At Valley ForgeArnold Friberg, American Artist (1913-2010)
Arnold Friberg’s Prayer At Valley Forge
Arnold Friberg Words from the Video
“The picture you see here was painted to recall the winter of 1777-78 at the lowest and most hopeless and discouraging time in our revolutionary war, for the struggling Americans had been defeated by the mighty British arm in battle after battle and were fast loosing all hope.
“The American camp was set up in a place in the wilderness called, “Valley Forge.” It was a dreadful winter of cruel bitter cold. Neglected by Congress, the soldiers were starving and freezing and dying–serving without pay, without enough food, without shoes or clothing; and it was said you could track where a man had walked by the blood of his feet in the snow.
“Leading this wretched ragtag army was George Washington. With his rank as general he could have slept in a warm house, but denying his own comfort he chose to share the hardships with his men.
“To make this painting historically accurate the artist … visited Valley Forge in the dead of winter to feel the cold and to sketch and study the land itself. Then he made studies from the actual uniform that Washington wore along with his sword, his saddle, his bridle, and his pistol holders. But what was more important than just factual historical truth was to pay tribute to that tall and heavy burdened man who alone held our struggling nation together with his own countrymen indifferent to their condition. Where else could he turn but to God.
“This is a symbolic picture, but from Washington’s own words there can be no doubt of his deep and humble dependence upon whom he chose to call, ‘That all wise and powerful being on whom alone our success depends.'”