American Art Project

Topics: Tennessee, Andrew Jackson, United States Capitol rotunda Pages: 8 (1258 words) Published: November 16, 2014
Connor Avant
9/29/2013
US History
Embarkation of the Pilgrims
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Robert W. Weir
Artist

Embarkation of the pilgrims is a painting by Robert W. Weir that was commissioned in 1836. It is a depiction of the Pilgrims before they depart from Holland for the New World. The artist is trying to get through a feeling of hope and that of adventure. The painting was painted and placed right after the Panic of 1837 started to fade from everyone’s mind and the country had started to heal. You can see the looks of hope and fear in the settler’s eyes as they prepare to depart on a harrowing voyage across the Atlantic. This hope is one that was starting to be felt by Americans that were affected by the crash in the market. There is even a rainbow off to the side as if to show a small sign that better times are on the horizon. It is also no coincidence that the settlers are reading and praying in the painting. The pilgrims immigrated into the New World because of the amount of religious persecution that they had faced in the past. Having them praying while preparing to leave for the New World is a wonderful example of foreshadowing what is to come for them in the near future. Landing of Columbus

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John Vanderlyn
Artist

Landing of Columbus is a painting by John Vanderlyn depicting a newly landed Christopher Columbus hoisting is flag in the air. The painting was commissioned in 1836 by Congress. The artist seems to be attempting to display a sense of bewilderment and relief shown by the sailors. He also seems to try and display a sense of slight confusion and exhaustion by those depicted. I think he was successful in all ofhis attempts to display emotion. Columbus appears to be quite proud of his accomplishment although a bit confused as he did not expect to run into anything before the Indies that he was searching for. The confusion and bewilderment is very understandable though when you consider that many people thought Columbus would die from sailing off the end of the world. The look of exhaustion and relief is completely understandable as well considering that he had just sailed for an extremely long time and into what many people had called certain doom. I think like the Embarkation of the Pilgrims, this painting could also be a look towards hope from the crash in 1837. The sailors all look very hopeful now that they have finally found land.

Declaration of Independence
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John Trumbull
Artist

Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence is an American classic instantly recognizable by almost anyone in the country. The painting was commission in 1817 as one of a four part series from Trumbull. The theme is one of accomplishment and bravery. It was based off of a smaller painting of the same scene painted by Trumbull that was essential in his commission of the series of paintings. One very interesting fact is that all of the faces within the painting were painted from portraits of the specific person. This makes the painting feel as though it was painted when the scene was actually occurring. The feelings of pride and patriotism shine through and Jefferson seems genuinely proud of his accomplishment and everyone has a look of bravery in their eyes as they commit this act of treason that started this wonderful country in which we live. Baptism of Pocahontas

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John Gadsby Chapman
Artist

Chapman’s Baptism of Pocahontas is a painting showing the baptism of Pocahontas into the Anglican Church. There is a sense of harmony and unification within the picture, as well as humbleness from Pocahontas. Although there is a sense of disapproving from her father at the side, most seem to be in good spirits. The painting was commissioned in 1836 and Chapman chose Pocahontas because he had already painted a less famous painting of John Smith. This led him to stick with a familiar story and he decided upon the Baptism of Pocahontas. This is very culturally...
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