The Banjo Legacy

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Banjo Legacy Many say a picture is worth a thousand words. This holds to be true with the painting called The Banjo Lesson by Henry Ossawa Tanner. This painting is an example of the 19th century realism. Realism is the tendency to see things as they really are.(realism) These ideas of realism and Tanner collide into the painting, The Banjo Lesson bringing forth a comprehensive visual analysis, and a historical view through race, gender, class, and events in 1893 that make this painting almost come alive. The banjo lesson by Henry Ossawa Tanner was painted in 1893 on oil on canvas. This was a medium sized painting that showed great values visually and yet gave messages still important to remember to this day. This painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner has many great aspects visually that make it one great piece of art work. The painting is of a old black man that may be a former slave is teaching a young black child how to play the banjo, an instrument from the African culture. (banjo) It almost gives a feel that the young child is the older gentleman’s grandson. They are sitting on a chair and the young child is sitting in his lap looking at the banjo. …show more content…
Most of them expressed their sorrows or feelings through music. Not many could read or write for that is the way many of their masters wanted for it was a way of controlling what they did. So, knowing that a person can assume that they used music to express themselves. It was a way of therapy for them. The banjo is a instrument derived from Africa brought here by the slaves. (Banjo) This instrument helped them with the traumas of being over repressed for many, many years. The traumas that were happening at the time were the Jim Crowe laws that were put into books to stop blacks from school and government participation. This links the legacy of slavery to the laws and the experiences that many African-Americans went

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