′S Essay, Research Paper
Artwork during that Americans did were brought on by the European
style of artwork. America eventually warped that style into their own
personal style concerning the type of people from different cultures
who had settled in America. Spanish and Indian cultures were where
folk art came from. They were mainly of church and other religious
focused artwork. The painting style from the English was also a hand
in the definition of the nation?s artwork. Also before cameras were
invented an artist would come and paint a picture of its subjects. At
times a single artist would paint the same family?s portraits year after
Towards the end of the eighteenth century the style of painting was
more pointed towards romanticism that at the time was popular in
Europe. Rather than the straight forwardness of the earlier years.
Many of the artist that came about in the time era of the eighteenth
century to eighteen eighty were fine examples of this gradual change.
Many of the artists soon to be mentioned helped with the definition of
American art work during the eighteen hundreds.
Such as Rembrandt Peale who was known for his originality and
nature of his portraits. Rembrandt?s father was Charles Willson Peale
was a very successful artist also known for his portraits of famous
revolutionary heroes such as George Washington; who inspired him to
become a painter after many members of his family were painters.
During the 1820?s he did history related paintings which would be the
basis for dozens of copies in later years while also promoting art and
aspiring to create an elevated national artistic expression. In the
1850?s his art tended to be more towards repetitiveness and was
rather stiff as his art headed towards a dramatic shift in tastes and
Joshua Johnson, a mulatto was America?s first professional black
painter. Whom bought his freedom out of slavery from the money he
got from his paintings. His work stands between the academic and
folk traditions in early American art. Many of which his portraits
contained some of Baltimore?s leading families. The little that is
known about Joshua is said that he was given artistic help from
Charles Peale Polk, Rembrandt Peale?s cousin.
Another painter Jacob Eichholtz, was from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
He was much encouraged to further his career as a painter by leading
portrait painters in Philadelphia. Jacob?s work had a sense of bright,
refined, elegance; Which seemed to be unique.
John Quidor was an artist who had a Michelangelesque style to his
artwork. Quidor was very much into the seventeenth century genre
compositions of Adrian van Ostade. His paintings often contained
humor when he illustrated such legendary heroes and incidents from
James Cooper?s and Washington Irving?s stories. From 1851 to 1868
he concentrated more on portraits that were romantic scenes that
illustrated these stories. John Quidor lived from 1801 until 1881 so he
was an artist around the time of the Civil War era so in some of his
portraits the trama that was going on then showed in his artwork.
Winslow Homer was known more for his pieces during the nineteenth
century but began his career as an artist in 1854 by drawing sheet
music illustrations for Bufford?s lithography. In 1856 after spending a
year in France was not influenced by the impressionism that was
popular at the time in France. Instead he started doing oil paintings
and submitted his civil war subjects to the National Academy in 1863
and 1869 until he got elected as an Academician. In 1873 he started
painting in watercolor which he used rather extensively for the rest of
his career painting such scenes as life on the farm, resorts with
women of fashion included in them and children who were playing.
This is one of Homer?s Pictures called ?the Reaper?.
James McNeil Whistler was an artist that drew attention to his
independent and expressive qualities in all of his artwork. He often
painted his mistress Joanna Hefferman, and would paint her in full
length portraits with carefully designed interior arrangements. James
was a very successful etcher producing over five hundred landscapes,
figures and portraits.
This portrait by Fredric is called ?Whistler?s Mother?, its name pretty much
represents who this picture is of.
One of the founders of the greatest landscaping schools, Hudson River
was Thomas Cole who happened to be a spectacular painter. Many of
Thomas? paintings were scenes addressing the evolution of nature and
nations. He was also encouraged by a fellow artist to pursue his
career as a professional artist. Thomas soon became well known.
Starting first as a portraitist he moved to landscapes and gained
attention by more leading artists where then he begun his trek to
open the Hudson River Art School. His early death cut his life as a
major artist short.
This is Thomas Cole?s painting called ?The Consummation of Empire? this explores
man?s conquest of nature and nature?s victory.
The last artist I?m going to mention is Frederic Edwin Church who is
recognized as America?s greatest painter prior to Winslow Homer and
Thomas Eakins. His mentor was Thomas Cole and was his only pupil
for a few years where he picked up Thomas? vision of landscape.
Frederic liked to paint great wilderness sites such as the Niagara Falls.
These powerful images showed America?s greatness but with the
break of the Civil War it brought on images showing national
apocalypse. In 1854 Frederic opened a studio in New York where he
showed his landscapes. Then in 1851 he started traveling the country
looking for new subject matter. Up until the 1880?s he was a very
successful painter until he was virtually forgotten.
Many of these artist?s names lived on to be legendary and others are
hardly known about but all of them and along with many, many more
not mentioned were the creators of America?s own style of artwork. A
big majority of the mentioned artists paintings tell the story of
America?s past. Therefore the paintings can be found in the nation?s
capitol while they narrate the nation?s beginning through presidents,
wars and revalations. So thanks to all of the artist we now can look
back in the past and see what it was like rather than just having
words to describe it. Like the saying says ?A picture is worth a
thousand words? they really do mean it.
1. The young reader?s companion to American History by John A.
Garraty copyright 1994 by Houghton Mifflin Company
2. American Masterpieces from the national Gallery of Art by John
Wilmerding copyright 1980 crescent Books New York, NY
3. Encarta ?97 copyright 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation