American Painting - From its beginnings to the Armory Show by Jules David Prown, John Walker, Alexis Gregory

By Jules David Prown, John Walker, Alexis Gregory

The tale of yankee portray starts within the Colonial interval, within the 17th century. «The most blatant truth approximately early American painting,» writes Jules David Prown, «is that there has been so little of it. whilst eu colonists started to determine everlasting settlements at the japanese flank of North the USA, that they had different issues on their minds than the portray of images. confronted with a urgent necessity to meet their fundamental lifestyles needs—food, guard, clothing—they followed a life-style and a view of the area that was once unavoidably pragmatic. For them the humanities appeared dangerously inappropriate, a distraction from the intense initiatives handy. That pragmatic perspective has characterised American tradition from its inception to the current day, and has profoundly affected the trajectory of yankee art.»

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His youthful desire to study with Copley in Boston and become a painter was frustrated by his family. While at Harvard College he did meet Copley and was strongly influenced by his work. He graduated from Harvard in 1773. When the American Revolution began, Trumbull joined the Continental Army, using his artistic talent to draw maps and sketches of British positions. He served briefly as aide-de-camp to General George Washington, a fact of which he boasted until his dying day. After a petty dispute over the date of his commission, he quit the army.

Today's viewer is no longer familiar with the people portrayed or the complexities of their relationships, but to Copley's contemporaries of Lords, are woven into a the painting represented a rich interplay of pohtical positions, party antipathies, personal scandals, and family backgrounds. Copley's next history painting. The Death of Major Peirson (1782-1784) marked the zenith of his career. On the night of January 5/6, a French detachment of nine hundred troops had invaded the Channel isle of Jersey.

40<;y32') Zealand. 53 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Roger Sherman, about Yale University Art Gallery, 34 New Haven, 1777. {64Yi^49V2") Connecticut. Gift of Roger Sherman White, January igif masters. While he was in Italy, war broke out at was reunited with his family in home at Lexington and Concord. Copley London, and there soon gained considerable success as a history painter (see next chapter). He never returned to his native land. Although Copley left America, the paintings he left behind exercised a marked influence on subsequent painting in New England.

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