American Art Project
Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull
This is an oil on canvas painting by John Trumbull. The commissioning of the painting took effect in 1817. Two years later (1819), the painting was purchased. It was hung almost a decade later in 1826. The painting was made during the struggle for independence in the United States, which was under the control of Britain. The painting is a remembrance of the time the draft of the Declaration of Independence was submitted and to the Second Continental Congress. The Second Continental Congress was a meeting held at Pennsylvania State House, Philadelphia. During this meeting, it was passed that the thirteen American colonies were sovereign states, free from British influence and control. The draft of the Declaration of Independence was adopted a week later. There is a strong connection between content and the context of the painting. The painting depicts Thomas Jefferson, a key author of the draft, handing the Declaration to John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress. The painting also depicts other members involved in drafting the Declaration of Independence. The painting fits the context in that this was the day the draft document was handed to the Second Continental Congress for scrutiny and adoption. The painting is a reminiscence of the historical moment. The artist is successful in communication the contextual influences because just by looking at the painting, one can see Thomas Jefferson passing the declaration to John Hancock. Any modern view can easily understand the message. In modern times, many viewers may relate this to a petition.
Landing of Columbus by John Vanderlyn
“Declaration of Independence.” Architect of the Capitol. Last modified April 4, 2017. https://www.aoc.gov/art/historic-rotunda-paintings/declaration-independence……………………………………………