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Copleys Governor and Mrs. Thomas Mifflin and Watson and the Shark - Essay Example

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Copleys Governor and Mrs. Thomas Mifflin and Watson and the Shark

The essay "Copley’s Governor and Mrs. Thomas Mifflin and Watson and the Shark" analyzes paintings of John Singleton Copley, Governor and Mrs. Thomas Mifflin and Watson and the Shark. Copley represents Mifflin’s role in this debate with a form of commemoration for the subject’s position as the first Pennsylvania governor after the liberation of the colonies. Copley’s 1778 portrait “Watson and the Shark” also has symbols alluding to aspects of the American Revolution through its highly expressive style. Plainly, viewers can say Copley wanted to commemorate a dramatic event wherein Brook Watson lost his foot (Pinder 186). However, a deeper meaning is an implicit allusion to the War of Independence. More specifically, the painting shows colonists as brave men as they physically struggle against a killer shark, another symbolic allusion to the British. The 1773 painting symbolically reveals Mr. Mifflin’s political beliefs. Mifflin was a trader against taxes imposed on British commodities. Among the American Revolution’s key objectives was to resist paying duties imposed on commodities from England and encouraging other colonists to follow suit. At the same time, Mrs. Mifflin conveys a clear message about the political atmosphere in America during the revolution. Mrs. Mifflin has a unique attractive fringe that shows her intention to boycott English commodities and rather create her own. Sarah Mifflin uses her right hand and a loom held in place by a blue ribbon to lace the threads. ...Show more
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The essay compares two paintings of John Singleton Copley, Governor and Mrs. Thomas Mifflin and Watson and the Shark. The most direct symbolic reference to the American Revolution in “Governor and Mrs. Thomas Mifflin” is the expression of Mr. Mifflin’s desire for independence…
Copleys Governor and Mrs. Thomas Mifflin and Watson and the Shark
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