Artist Friberg dead

The painter, who specialised in depicting images of iconic moments in U.S. history, passed away at a rehabilitation centre in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday (01Jul10) as he recovered from hip replacement surgery.

He was best known for his painting of George Washington praying at Valley Forge during the American Revolutionary War. The 1976 work – titled The Prayer at Valley Forge – is currently housed at Washington’s former home on the Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.

Friberg was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 1957 after his paintings were used as the basis for scenes in The Ten Commandments.

During his career, he was also commissioned to paint a portrait of British royal Charles, Prince of Wales, and in 1990 he spent six weeks at Buckingham Palace creating an image of Queen Elizabeth II with Charles’ horse, Centennial.