The Prayer at Valley Forge Original Sketch
This original sketch is done by Arnold Friberg. This sketch was to be a bronze life size monument for Valley Forge being done concurrently with the painting.
Arnold Friberg’s most well known painting was his painting of George Washington in Prayer at Valley Forge. Arnold Friberg created the original painting of “The Prayer at Valley Forge” in 1976 to honor our country’s bicentennial.
Thru this painting we feel the cold, the suffering of so many men, the weight of burdens that fell upon General George Washington, as he was on bended knee in bitter winter of Valley Forge as he was deep in prayer. From Arnold Friberg’s personal site we read: “This picture expresses a powerful affirmation of faith, patriotic duty, and the deep spiritual depths in the founding of our country. This image is Arnold Friberg’s legacy.” In preparation for the painting, Arnold visited the Smithsonian to sketch his uniform in exact detail, then Arnold visited Valley Forge during the frigid wintertime to put himself in the shoes of General George Washington. He spent countless hours sketching after removing his gloves and coat until he could no longer hold his instrument. “Friberg really wanted to emphasize General Washington’s hands, showing how desperate he was for help as he clenched his hands tightly in prayer. Arnold’s desire was to encompass the basic founding principles of our great nation through this painting.”
“I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God and those who have the superintendence of them into His holy keeping.”-George Washington
It would seem that Arnold Frieberg’s interest to our country and to his God will also live past the efforts he made to create this beautiful image.
Arnold Friberg’s is also well known for his pre-visualization paintings for Cecil B. DeMille’s ” Ten Commandments, and twelve Book of Mormon paintings done for the LDS Church, that are now in “The Book of Mormon Gallery located at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.. In addition he is beloved in Canada for his Canadian Mounties paintings and portraits of the Prince of Wales & Queen Elizabeth II.