The Role Art Played in Progressing the Golden Age of Exploration

Liv Jacobs Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Peter Wang Butler University
This study analyzes two-dimensional works from the late 1400s to the early 1600s that showcase the three g’s all explorers were after: god, gold, and glory. By depicting these elements consistently in their artwork, it is reinforcing the idea to the audience at the time the meaning of their quest. The depictions are normally positively showing how the European influence is being spread in the New World or negative depictions of natives showing them as what they deemed ‘savages.’ This art acts as propaganda saying that they are succeeding and they are either ‘saving’ the natives or killing the ‘savages’ and being seen as the hero no matter what. A couple pieces included in this study are The Landing of Espanola and The Baptism of Pocahontas. These two pieces showcase a strong savior complex and reinforces the idea of the natives being “savages.” The paintings where artists used Pocahontas as their subject matter, these were able to promote the assimilation they have been able to accomplish in the process. The research for this study was done through a qualitative, hermeneutic research method, meaning the research was conducted through comparing works of art during the time period and comparing different studies to come up with the conclusion.
Art/Art History
Oral Presentation

When & Where

01:30 PM
Lilly Hall 141