Found in an attic
Found in an attic

H.A. McArdle: Long-Lost Battle Of San Jacinto Painting Found In A West Virginia Attic

Found in an attic

Anyone who's visited the Texas capitol in Austin has seen the epic painting depicting the Battle of San Jacinto, where Sam Houston whipped up on the Mexican Army.

There was a smaller, slightly different version of it by the artist, H.A. McArdle, but he kept it after a commission payment fell through and it was seemingly lost forever.

Until a descendant of McArdle started poking around around his grandfather's house in Weston, West Virgina.

That descendant, John Buell, told the Charleston Gazette:

"One day, I was poking around the third floor of the house, and I came across this painting. I asked my grandmother about it, and she said, "It's been in the attic since the 1930s. Your great-great-grandfather painted it"....While his grandparents didn't believe there was anything particularly exceptional about the McArdle work collecting dust in their attic, Buell wasn't so sure.

He initially didn't get much interest from Texas art houses, but eventually talked to Heritage Auctions in Dallas.

That house's Atlee Phillips told the Gazette she too was skeptical until documents indicated the painting could be real, and then "That's when my heart stopped," she said.

The painting of what the West Virginia paper calls "the Galveston-area battlefield" will be auctioned in November and is expected to bring more than $100,000.


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