Category Archives: American Paintings

April 12, 2015

American Paintings: Kindred Spirits by Asher Brown Durand

Painter: Asher Brown Durand Year: 1849 Spirits was Durand’s tribute to his dear and departed friend Thomas Cole. Durand created the perfect composite view of Cole’s favorite sites, Kaaterskill Falls and the Catskill Cove. With his paintbrush Cole points to the great beyond, his final destination, as his friend William Cullen Bryant looks on. This painting was famously purchased from the New York Public Library as a different sort of tribute for the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.

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April 10, 2015

American Paintings: Assiniboine Hunting Buffalo by Paul Kane

Paul Kane, Assiniboine Hunting Buffalo, ca., 1851-1856 (oil on canvas). Known primarily for his images of the western landscape and of the customs and visages of different Aboriginal peoples, Paul Kane made one of the most extensive pictorial records of the 19th century Northwest. He traveled from Fort William (Thunder Bay) to Fort Vancouver on the Pacific coast at a time when the fur trade was beginning to decline. In graphite, watercolour and oil on paper, Kane produced more than 700 sketches as well as journal descriptions. One hundred large-scale oil on canvas paintings depicting scenes of native life in North America were produced based on his field work.

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March 2, 2015

American Paintings: Obama Foreign Policy by Jon McNaughton

Since Obama has been President he has played over 200 rounds of golf. THIS is not a game. This is Obama’s Foreign Policy.

Is the world a safer place since Obama was made President of the United States?

I felt a need to paint a new image to capture the delicate situation we face as Americans.

What has happened since he’s been in office? Where is the stability and peace in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Crimea, Ukraine, Russia, Iran, Israel, Palestine, China and North Korea? How are our veterans doing? Are American citizens safer as they travel abroad?

When the balance of the world seems to stand on the edge of a knife, where is our President?


Complete text linked here.

February 22, 2015

American Paintings: First in Peace. Representing the Arrival of General George Washington at the Battery, New York, April 30, 1789 by John C. McRae, after Henry Brueckner Engraving

This print imagines the grand and exuberant spectacle that greeted Washington as he entered New York for his first inauguration. Eyewitness accounts recalled the new president arriving on a barge rowed by thirteen men in white uniforms, surrounded by a crowd cheering wildly and ships firing thirteen-gun salutes.

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January 11, 2015

American Paintings: Albert Bierstadt, Departure of an Indian War Party

Albert Bierstadt (January 7, 1830 – February 18, 1902) was a German-American painter best known for his lavish, sweeping landscapes of the American West. To paint the scenes, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century.

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January 4, 2015

American Paintings: The Apotheosis of Washington

The Apotheosis of Washington is the fresco painted by Italian artist Constantino Brumidi in 1865 and visible through the oculus of the dome in the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building. The fresco is suspended 180 feet (55 m) above the rotunda floor and covers an area of 4,664 square feet (433.3 m2). The figures painted are up to 15 feet (4.6 m) tall and are visible from the floor below.

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he Apotheosis of Washington depicts George Washington sitting amongst the heavens in an exalted manner, or in literal terms, ascending and becoming a God (apotheosis). Washington, the first U.S. president and commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, is allegorically represented, surrounded by figures from classical mythology. Washington is draped in purple, a royal color, with a rainbow arch at his feet, flanked by the goddess Victoria (draped in green, using a horn) to his left and the goddess Liberty to his right. Liberty wears a red Phrygian cap, symbolizing emancipation, from a Roman tradition where sons leaving the home and/or slaves being emancipated would be given a red cap. She holds a fasces in her right hand and an open book in the other.

Forming a circle between Liberty and Victory are 13 maidens, each with a star above her head, representing the original 13 colonies. Several of the maidens have their backs turned to Washington, said to represent the colonies that had seceded from the Union at the time of painting. Upside down above Washington is the banner E Pluribus Unum meaning “out of many, one”.

Surrounding Washington, the two goddesses and the 13 maidens are six scenes lining the perimeter, each representing a national concept allegorically: from directly below Washington in the center and moving clockwise, “War,” “Science,” “Marine,” “Commerce,” “Mechanics,” and “Agriculture”. The perimeter scenes are not fully visible from the floor of the Capitol.

Wikipedia article.

October 14, 2014

American Paintings: Wild Wild West by Jon McNaughton

Here is my newest painting called, “Wild Wild West.” There are about 24 of the most famous legends of the West marching out of the dust. I just had a lot of fun with this and if you want to see the interactive webpage with identification and pop-up info about each person go to the special webpage:

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May 17, 2014

American Painting: On the Merced River by Albert Bierstadt

Albert Bierstadt (United States [born in Germany], 1830—1902), “On the Merced River,” date unknown (circa 1865). Oil on canvas. California Historical Society Collections at the Autry National Center, X57-716-1-2; LT2005-131-1.

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April 7, 2014

Lewis and Clark on the Lower Columbia by Charles Marion Russell

In 1904, Charles Russell and his wife Nancy traveled to St. Louis to visit his family and attend the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The largest world’s fair up to that time, the exposition commemorated the centennial of Lewis and Clark’s epic journey of exploration across the continent, which was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson. This watercolor was one of a number of works Russell later produced of the subject. Here, the red-haired William Clark stands in his canoe with a flintlock rifle cradled in his arms, while the Shoshone guide, Sacagawea, communicates with a group of Columbia River Indians.

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April 3, 2014

American Paintings: Dream Castle by Robert A. Fox

Robert Atkinson Fox (1860-1935) was a popular and prolific commercial artist from the early 1900s until the early 1930s. He was commissioned by major calendar companies and art print publishers to illustrate calendars, posters, postcards, picture puzzles, and various advertising materials.