John Vanderlyn, the first American painter trained in Paris, was one of five artists selected by Congress to create historical paintings for the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. This drawing of Christopher Columbus looking heavenward is a study for Vanderlyn’s Landing of Columbus, which Congress commissioned between 1836 and 1837. Vanderlyn completed the canvas in 1842, and it was installed in the Capitol in 1847, where it remains to this day. The painting twice appeared on stamps issued by the United States Postal Service: a fifteen-cent stamp issued in 1869, which was the first American stamp produced in two colors; and a two-cent stamp issued in 1893, marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s “discovery” of America.
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- Titles Study for "Landing of Columbus" (Proper)
- Artist John Vanderlyn, American, 1775 - 1852
- Medium chalk and pencil on paper
- Dimensions 23 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (59.1 x 46.4 cm)
- Credit Line Museum purchase, 2007.7
- Work Type drawing
- Classification Drawings
- Provenance John Vanderlyn to (1852) his niece, Catherine Vanderlyn (1825-1892); to Judge Augustus Schoonmaker, Jr. (1828-1894); to his daughter, Lizzy Rioggen (Mrs. William) Laughton; to Mr. Fred Johnston (c. 1963); to Kennedy Galleries, New York; to Childs Gallery, Boston; Birmingham Museum of Art, by purchase (November 2006)