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"Examination of Witnesses in a Trial for Witchcraft"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This sketch was a preliminary study for a painting by the Deerfield, Massachusetts, painter George Fuller (1822-1884). The oil painting, now at the Art Institute of Chicago, was a rare effort by Fuller to create a historical scene, the interrogation of witnesses during the Salem witchcraft trial of 1692. He was ultimately unsuccessful. Composed and partially painted in the last year of his life, one critic wrote that Fuller abandoned it because of his "aversion or inability to illustrate an historical fact," that rather than "controlling the subject, it was controlling him." The great successes of Fuller's career were, in fact, either taken from life or from contemporary impressions.


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