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Joseph Brant Assignment

  • Date Submitted: 02/17/2013 05:07 AM
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ARTH 231 Final Paper
Prepared by: Emily Jarvis (0633-3300)
Prepared for: Professor Eric Weichel
Thursday, April 5

Joseph Brant

Although portraits display a sense of honesty one must remember that art is a medium of personal expression. Factors in which the artists worked under influence how the subject is portrayed and must be considered when viewing art. Four portraits of Joseph Brant produced in the 16th and 17th century by International artists will be used to illustrate that portraits predominantly illustrate the artist personal expression followed by factors influenced by historical context and finally the subjects’ intention is considered.  

Joseph Brant was a prominent figure in the 1700s and early1800s, he was a Mohawk war chief, loyalist, statesman, interpreter for the British and confederate leader of the Iroquois and western aboriginal peoples. Brant was instrumental in the development of positive relations with the Eastern world and he was regarded as one of the most influential people in Canadian history.

Brant was always very cautious about how he was portrayed in art; he very often wore his traditional Iroquois dress over a white European style shirt, showing the multiple facets to his life. Brant felt it was important to have people view him as having strong ties to both European and Native cultures.   After Brant’s passing in November 180, artists no longer needed to consider the subjects desires in how he wanted to be depicted. Without a physical being to portray no one could question the validity of the subject’s appearance thus artists were free to reveal Brant however they chose.
A lithograph by Swiss artist; Karl Joseph Broatmnn, from 1827, illustrates, the freedom artists had after Brant’s death. Brant is portrayed as a robust man with smooth features, shading is used to show depth and shadows where the skin bulges. Other portraits of Brant during his lifetime and written documents suggest that Brant was in reality a tall...

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