American Truth

Declaration of Independance 4 July 1776 at Philidelphia

Story Truth by Shreya Ashokkrishan

John Trumbull’s painting, The Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776 at Philadelphia depicts the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the founding fathers of America. The founding fathers are poised to sign the document on July 4, 1776 that would forever change the future for America. Their pride is depicted in the manner in which they stand, with their hands at their hips and their chins held high. Thomas Jefferson is presenting the document to Hancock with a slight smile across his face. Hancock’s gaze is firm and determined demonstrating his commitment to bringing freedom to America. All of the men gathered in the room seemed to have stopped what they were doing to witness the momentous occasion of the signing. The man sitting in the corner of the assembly looks up from his writing to watch the event so pivotal to American Independence. All heads are facing the founding fathers who are gathered in the focal point of the room. Men are gathered as onlookers in an orderly assembly and are watching with eagerness. Their legs are crossed and their faces expressionless, which represents the tension present in regards to signing a document opposing their mother country. Behind the assembly, three men are talking amongst themselves, possibly discussing the outcomes of signing such a document. In the back wall of the room, British military flags decorate the walls, which represent the idea that America still recognized Britain as her parent country. Overall, the pride and tension of the event is portrayed through the painting.

Happening Truth by Nishtha Prasad

The Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776 at Philadelphia, illustrates the meeting, in which delegates from each of the thirteen colonies had unanimously agreed to secede from the British Empire, in an accurate manner. A total of 56 delegates from the Continental Congress had signed the document therefore giving the artist, Trumbull, reason to paint crowded room. A few of the most prominent delegates present include George Washington. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin—all of whom are seen in the front of the painting standing in a group separate from the remaining delegates—representing their importance. Thomas Jefferson himself had drafted the document, therefore making him a vital figure in the painting. John Hancock had been the first to sign the document, therefore allowing him to be one the select few standing in the front of the painting’s setting. Each of the delegates is portrayed as well dressed, aged, and civilized representing the type of people involved of the signing: the upper elite class who possessed sufficient knowledge about the existing political and economic structures. While the middle classes are not depicted in the painting, it can be assumed the delegates present in the painting are there to represent the sentiments of the American population in its entirety for the fiscal and legislative had affected all. All these historical components are portrayed precisely in the painting.

Identity of the Author by Paddy Pandy

John Trumbull was born on June 6, 1756. Trumbull was the son of the Royal Colonial Governor of Connecticut Jonathan Trumbull. His father was the only Royal Colonial Governor to support the patriot cause. His mother was Faith Robinson, whose father was a Pilgrim leader, John Robinson. He was known as the only patriotic artist, as he attended Harvard College at the age of fifteen. As a soldier in the American Revolutionary war, he witnessed the Battle of Bunker Hill and was appointed second personal aide to George Washington. He was responsible for sketching plans for surprise attacks and battle plans He resigned the army in 1777 and went to London to study under Benjamin West, who suggested that he started painting pieces of art relating to the War. While studying under West, he painted Battle of Bunker Hill and Death of General Montgomery. After returning from London, he worked as a secretary for John Jay during the negotiation of the treaty with Great Britain and was commissioned to carry out the seventh article of the Jay Treaty. He was brought up in a very “American” and patriotic household as he was the true “first-generation American”. Throughout his life, he spent his time working for the American cause and due to this, his art was also very patriotic and geared towards the championing of America.

Critique of the Painting by Josephine Sun

The painting, The Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776 at Philadelphia by John Trumbull, 1818 depicts the representatives of the British colonies in America coming together to sign the Declaration of Independence. The exigence of this piece includes events such as the American Revolution, which was led to by various acts imposed on the colonies by the British. The more notable of these Acts include the Stamp Act, Tea Act, and Intolerable Acts. The Boston Massacre also contributed a significant amount of motivation that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The audience of this piece includes, not necessarily the public, but possibly on a private level as this piece was commissioned to be painted in the year 1817 and was completed in 1818. The general audience would remain in the colonies, or the newly formed, independent America formed from the British Colonies. As was usually common, the people who would buy this painting would also need a substantial amount of money, therefore the audience would be more directed towards the middle to upper classes. However, the painting was later moved into what is now known as the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, thus becoming for a public audience.

The purpose of this painting, like other paintings of notable events, was to depict and glorify an event of much importance to the painter, audience, or a general body of people. In this case, the purpose of this painting was to glorify the independence of their country. This conclusion is supported by the fact that the people in the painting are depicted as proud and standing tall; nobody shows an expression of remorse, but determination. The colors being used are vibrant as the people stand in a room lit by rays of sunlight coming at an angle that suggest that the event is taking place in the morning. This then comes to the conclusion, or the implied feeling, of a new beginning.

War Story

Economic and political issues have been rampant in 18'th century America. These issues are mainly due to the ties we maintain with our mother country, Britain. Over the past decades, several unjust acts have been imposed upon us and several conflicts have been caused by the British Empire's mistakes. War is the only solution to stop the injustices against us. Soldiers were sent to war with minimal training, but American soldiers are patriotic in their endeavors. Though the war caused much death among our American soldiers, this was a fair price to pay for the prospect of liberty. The signing of the Declaration of Independence was one of the most pivotal events that triggered the war and later America's independence. The signing of the declaration is portrayed as the occasion that championed the movement for war. Although many thought that the signing of the declaration would further instigate problems with the British Empire, many of us view it as the only way to achieve the liberty we truly deserve. The brave men signing the declaration are willing to put their lives on the line for the cause of attainment of liberty. Patriots had faith in the success of America in the Revolutionary War. Only a few men (loyalists) doubted the lengths America's patriotism could go. During the signing of the Declaration, all men were focused on the representatives poised to sign the document. We regard this occasion as one of the most momentous events in American History.