Tuesday, 12 November 2013

'Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way' by Emanuel Leutze

This was painted by Emanuel Leutze in 1861, and it portrays the idea of Manifest Destiny. The border includes portraits of William Clark who opened the way for the Western settlement; and Daniel Boone, who explored Kentucky. This could represent how successful the pilgrims have been so far. The pilgrimage in the picture depicts the pioneer men and women and workers who have conquered the Natives land. The bleak valleys in the distance represents the difficulties in which the pioneers had to face in the past. For example, there is a burial in the painting with indicates that they have been grieving and have suffered terrible losses throughout their conquest.

 On the right of the valley a Native American is illustrated with a hopeless facial expression as there is nothing he can do to stop the Pilgrims from invading their territory. He is further back in the painting and has no importance as the pilgrims do not pay him any attention.

One of the men is pointing towards the distance at the valley, which implies that they are envisioning a future in which the rest of the valley becomes US territory, known as the 'promised land', as now they are struggling in the dark valley. It is their destiny to pursue the land as it represents the peace which the pilgrims can reach once they have worked hard.

Furthermore, the border includes a bald eagle, which is Americas national symbol. It is situated at the top of the border to suggest that liberty is under its wings.
There is a woman kissing her baby in the picture. She appears to be shedding tears of joy because of the hope of a better life that Manifest Destiny brings them.
In the margin below there is the Golden Gate, entrance to San Francisco bay which is what the pioneers are gazing at, offering them a sense of hope due its serene and peacefulness.

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