National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION

Tour: British and American History Paintings of the 1700s

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image of The Death of the Earl of Chatham image of Oedipus Cursing His Son, Polynices image of A Scene from The Beggar's Opera
1 2 3
image of The Battle of La Hogue image of The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise image of Solitude
4 5 6
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Sophisticated Europeans from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries deemed “history painting” to be the supreme achievement in the visual arts. In addition to imaginatively re-creating actual events from the past, history paintings also illustrated heroic or moralizing episodes from religion, mythology, and literature.



1John Singleton Copley, The Death of the Earl of Chatham, 1779
2Henry Fuseli, Oedipus Cursing His Son, Polynices, 1786
3William Hogarth, A Scene from The Beggar's Opera, 1728/1729
4Benjamin West, The Battle of La Hogue, c. 1778
5Benjamin West, The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, 1791
6Richard Wilson, Solitude, c. 1762/1770
7Joseph Wright, The Corinthian Maid, 1782-1784
8Joseph Wright, Italian Landscape, 1790