Early American Neo-Classicism


The 'Facebook' and 'Tumblr' of the 1770's

N The 1770's Art was very important and not only was it used as something to enjoy looking at but also was used to inform people as to what was going on. During the times of the American Revolution at least half of the population were educated and literate however the latter simply couldn't afford to pay tutors, teachers and colleges. Various news paper presses would draw political art including allegories and symbolism in order to appeal to the uneducated masses. The political art that was used to inform Americans about the Revolution was mostly propaganda since the Revolution in reality was a minority movement. Only 1/3 wanted to revolt and the 2/3 either didn't care or were loyal to the king.

Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull

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The battle of Bunker Hill was depicted in this painting and if you pay close attention to the details in the painting we can see that the Continental Army was greatly outnumbered. it also shows the death of American General John Warren and British Colonel Abercrombie and Major Pitcairn. However, propaganda played an important part of this piece. As it was mentioned that the American revolution was a minority movement that only the minority really even supported and funded in conclusion the idea that the American Continental Army had extravagant uniforms is absurd.

'...For some days past, there has been little less, than a famine in camp. A part of the army has been a week, without any kind of flesh, and the rest for three or four days. Naked and starving as they are, we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiery, that they have not been ere this excited by their sufferings, to a general mutiny or dispersion...'- Washington

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emmanuel Leutze

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What's wrong with this painting?

Since all the accounts we have of the crossing of the Delaware are from diaries and pamphlets we have an idea of how the moment occurred. Washington crossed the Delaware in the winter so the river was frozen over and it was also night full of sleet and hail. The man waving the flag is future president James Monroe however, he was never on the boat. In conclusion, the boat that they were rowing across the Delaware was a durham boat in which one could not stand like Washington is shown otherwise it would be dangerous and as we said before the soldiers would not have been wearing clothes without holes.

Values used in American Neo-Classical Art





Neo-Classical Architecture

Monticello by Thomas Jefferson

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Neo Classical Architecture isn't rocket science, it's simply just Architecture that's been inspired by Greece. The buildings of this time show the formality of the time period with their observation of Justice, Freedom, and Learning. Buildings that are Neo Classical usually have/are

-Symmetrical shape

  • -Tall columns that rise the full height of the building
  • -Triangular pediment
  • -Domed roof

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    "Neoclassical Architecture." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1383512/Neoclassical-architecture>.