Art at Auction: World War 1 painting by F.C. Yohn

Recently, Millea Brothers auctioned a painting by Frederick Coffay Yohn with the title, “Soldiers at War.”

Frederick C. Yohn, large painting, Frederick Coffay Yohn (American,1875-1933), Soldiers at War, c. 1922, oil on artist board, illustration art, signed and dated lower right, 31″h x 44.5″w (sight), 35.5″h x 49″w (frame)

Provenance: Property from the Collection of Charles E. Sigety – The late Charles E. Sigety was a renound collector of Americana, ranging from examples of Norman Rockwell to important historic documents. Christie’s New York sold a selection of Sigety’s collection in 2016.

It depicts what looks to be a soldier urging his comrades forward during a battle:


This image comes from the December 1918 issue of Scribner’s Magazine, called “An Incident of the Second Battle of the Marne.”


The subtitle is: “‘Go in boys; finish ’em up.  I can’t help you anymore.’  –The last words of an officer as he died fighting on the Ourcq [River].  This incident of the 42d Division (Rainbow Division) was reported in the New York papers of August 8, 1918.”  After searching numerous New York papers for this date, I could find no reference to this incident.



Yohn painted a series of World War 1 battle scenes, and perhaps his most famous is:

“The Last Night of the War / 5th Marines on the Night of 10-11 November 1918” (Marine Corps Art Collection)


Here is a short biography of F.C. Yohn from Wikipedia: “Yohn’s work appeared in publications including Scribner’s MagazineHarper’s Magazine, and Collier’s Weekly. Books he illustrated included Jack London‘s A Daughter of the SnowsFrances Hodgson Burnett‘s The Dawn of a To-morrow and Henry Cabot Lodge‘s Story of the American Revolution. He studied at the Indianapolis Art School during his first student year and then studied at the Art Students League of New York under Henry Siddons Mowbray (1858-1928). Mowbray studied at the Atelier of Léon Bonnat in Paris. Yohn often specialized in historical military themes, especially of the American Revolution, as well as the First World War. He designed the 2 cent US Postal Service stamp in 1929 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of George Rogers Clark‘s Victory over the British at Sackville. He is best known for his painting of George Washington at Valley Forge.”


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