300Magazine wishes you a happy Independence Day! This is the time when families and friends gather together to shoot fireworks and eat delicious food to celebrate one of the most important dates in US history. Independence Day, also known as the 4th of July, is one of America’s favorite holidays, and for a good reason. Each region of the country has its way of celebrating this holiday, but most agree with each other that this is the time for parades, festivals, and cookouts. To commemorate this special occasion in our signature way, let’s take a look at the most famous painting associated with this historical event — “The Declaration of Independence” by John Trumbull.
A Painting That Became the Symbol of Independence Day
This massive oil painting was created by the American artist John Trumbull in 1818. It can be seen on the reverse side of a two-dollar bill and is generally regarded as one of the symbols of Independence Day. Here are some interesting facts about “The Declaration of Independence” that you should know.
- This painting does not depict the signing of the Declaration of Independence. “The Declaration of Independence” shows the presentation of the draft of the document to the Congress members by the drafting committee, which took place on June 28. The signing famously happened on August 2.
- Although Trumbull originally planned to depict 56 signers of the Declaration, he only managed to include 42. Some of the figures shown in the painting, for example, John Dickinson, never put their signatures on the Declaration.
- The artist had to paint Benjamin Harrison V while referencing a portrait of his son, Benjamin Harrison VI, who was said to look like his father. He used the same strategy when he painted Stephen Hopkins because he did not have his portrait for reference.
- “The Declaration of Independence” depicts people who were not in the room at the same time at any point, as signings and debates were held in sessions over several days.
- The original painting features Thomas Jefferson standing very close to John Adams. Because of this optical illusion, a legend was born that Jefferson is stepping on his colleague’s shoe as a display of friendly banter.
We hope you enjoyed these facts about one of the most notable paintings in the history of America. Remember to stay safe and have an awesome Independence Day!