Early American Religious Art

Happy Independence Day! 🙂

For the Fourth of July this year, I figured I would share some early colonial American artwork that happens to be religious!

Now, most early American work is… well… not religious. At all. If you look through the American art museums for specifically American paintings, the art is mostly of landscapes of America. Or portraits of Americans. Or depictions of historical American events. Or allegories of American concepts.

…do you sense a theme here???

However, I found these lovely religious artworks! They were probably made by some Danish settlers in the early 18th century, and so you can see some of that influence. But also, there are plenty of little American influences as well, such as the colonial homes or the Puritan garb of the people there.

And I just love it because it just shows that Jesus belongs to everyone and that everyone — even the American Puritans — wanted Jesus to be with them in the world that they knew.

And so, here are some of the religious art from one of the oldest museums in America, the Albany Institute of History and Art.

First, some illustrations of the Gospel…

Adoration of the Magi, c. 1740. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.
Adoration of the Magi, c. 1740. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.
Flight Into Egypt, by Nehemiah Partridge, 1717-24. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.
Flight Into Egypt, by Nehemiah Partridge, 1717-24. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.
The Marriage Feast at Cana, c. 1740. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.
The Marriage Feast at Cana, c. 1740. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.
Road to Emmaus, possibly by Nehemiah Partridge, c. 1718-25. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.
Road to Emmaus, possibly by Nehemiah Partridge, c. 1718-25. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.

And then some pictures of the Old Testament for you!

Belshazzar's Feast, c. 1742. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.
Belshazzar’s Feast, c. 1742. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.
The Crowning of King Jeroboam, c. 1735. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.
The Crowning of King Jeroboam, c. 1735. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, New York, United States.

Have a happy (and safe!) Fourth of July! 🙂

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of four, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer.

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