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The Landing of Columbus by John Vanderlyn / American Art
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The Landing of Columbus

ca. 1840 John Vanderlyn Born: Kingston, New York 1775 Died: Kingston, New York 1852 oil on canvas 27 3/8 x 40 1/4 in. (69.5 x 102.3 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of I. Austin Kelly III 1971.5 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 7A



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The Landing of Columbus



Luce Center Quote

"My picture in the Rotunda is admitted to be inferior to none, if not superior." The artist, 1839, quoted in Schoonmaker, John Vanderlyn, Artist, 1775-1852; A Biography, 1950

Luce Center Label

This painting is an oil sketch for the Landing of Columbus in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol. Winning a commission from Congress meant a great deal to nineteenth-century artists because, as well as ensuring their reputation, it allowed them to play a part in shaping the nation's history. This painting shows the moment, on October 12, 1492, when Columbus and his men landed on the island of San Salvador and claimed all of the New World for Spain. John Vanderlyn spent a great deal of time working on this piece, and even traveled to the West Indies to make sure every detail of his painting was accurate. (Schoonmaker, John Vanderlyn, Artist, 1775-1852; A Biography, 1950)

Keywords

Ethnic - Indian

Figure(s) in exterior - water

History - United States - discovery of United States

Occupation - other - explorer

Portrait male - Columbus, Christopher

Waterscape - boat

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About John Vanderlyn

Born: Kingston, New York 1775 Died: Kingston, New York 1852

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John Vanderlyn

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