American Art Project Essay Sample

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The Baptism of Pocahontas is oil on canvas painting that was painted by John Gadsby Chapman .The painting was commissioned in 1837 and was delivered to the U.S. Capital and hung in Rotunda in November of 1840. John Gadsby Chapman is trying to portray a defining event in Pocahontas’s life which was her entry into the Christian faith. The feelings John Gadsby Chapman was trying to evoke through his painting was that during this time some Americans believed that the Indians should accept Christianity and conform to American customs. During the time of the painting the United Stated troops were fighting with the Seminole Indians and settlers in Georgia were taking American Indians land and forcing both the Creek Indians and Cherokee Indians out during what was called The Trails of Tears. I believe John Gadsby Chapman successfully communicates his message in the painting and makes the a clear connection between the artworks content and context by the way he has Pocahontas positioned and has her dresses. To many Christian’s there are similarities between The Baptism of Pocahontas and The Nativity scene and the Virgin Mary.

Declaration of Independence is an oil on canvas painting that was painted by John Trumbull. The painted was commissioned in 1817 and was hung in rotunda in 1826. John Trumbull is trying to portray the image of our country founding fathers presenting the

Declaration of Independence to John Hancock which is a scene that never actually occurred. I believe he was trying to evoke the feeling of togetherness and the importance that surrounded the signing of the document. I believe that John Trumbull’s successfully

communicated his message and the importance of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The events that was occurring in America that was composted in the painting was that the American colonies were at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire

The Landing of Columbus by John Vanderlyn is an oil on canvas painting. The Landing of Columbus was commissioned in 1836 and hung in Rotunda in 1847. In the painting the artist is attempting to portray many different things that may have taken place during the landing
including but not limited to gratitude, humility and also fear. The artist is successful in communicating his message in his work because it resembles the account of this event as described in Christopher Columbus’s journal.

Surrender of Lord Cornwallis by John Trumbull is an oil on canvas painting. John Trumbull was commissioned in January of 1817 for a total of four paintings which included Surrender of Lord Cornwallis that was hung in Rotunda in 1826. The artist is trying to display the image of the British Army surrendering in Yorktown which resulted in the end of the Revolutionary War. The feelings the artist is attempting to invoke is that of a peaceful surrender. The artist is successful in communicating his message in the work because he displays the British Army with there white flag of surrender held high and the American Troops proudly displaying the American flag. Although General Cornwallis is not present in the actual painting because he was not there for the actual event there is a direct connection of what is taking place surrounding the event.

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