In painting American history paintings such Benjamin West's The Death of General Wolfe reflect the interest in Romanticism by American artists. In this painting we drama, sacrifice, politics, and patriotism on a grand scale.
Genre paintings painted by artists such as James, Rembrandt, Raphaelle, and other Peales were astute at creating tromp l'oeil paintings that predate super-realism that we will see in the late 20th century.
The Signing of the Constitution, John Trumbull (1756-1843)
Trumbull's The Signing of the Constitution:
1. John Trumbull (1756-1843) is one of America's most famous history painters. Read about him at the National Gallery of Art at
National Gallery of Art
Trumbull also served in the military as an assistant to George Washington long before he was commissioned to paint this well known painting.
Using The Signing of the Constitution painting as inspiration write a letter describing this artwork to someone who has never seen it. Describe what the painting represents and how the artist conveys this to the viewer? We, the people, are onlookers but how does the artist bring us into the painting through the groupings and placement of the figures. Where does the viewer stand in relationship to the painting? How does the artist make us a part of the ceremony?
Use the following guides to help you describe, analyze, and interpret this painting.
Questions to Ask as You Look at a Work of Art
Art Terms-Language of Art