US Representation of the Andes


The perspectives of historiographical have been developed and adopted in various ways by the arts scholars in the nineteenth century. This essay is aimed at exploring the idea of landscape arts and how their representations portray concerning America’s imagination. Both geographical and imagined landscapes are explored by comparing the artwork of various artists in the nineteenth century. The American continent can be represented as a land with vast forests, sunsets, waterfalls, sublime scenes and towering mountains. Thus, the idea of new world exceptionalism is initiated. Although the land is valued, it is divided up as well and its resources plundered. Painters were involved in bringing up the idea of exceptionalism. They geared the step through painting landscapes as well as other factors of an area which Americans were willing to explore.

Landscape- The Imperial Subject

In her writing concerning history of US-Latin America relations, Deborah Poole explores three visual to represent the landscapes of the Latin America. The Heart of Andes, in her writing, is Fredric Edwin’s Church whose photograph was also present (Mainwaring, Bejarano and Leongómez, 2006, p.45). The main aim of the photograph was to question the role played by the visual while consulting Said’s pleasure of empire. The images are also leveraged to examine various periodization’s for the visual imperialism or as she calls them, the visual regimes. One of the visual regimes pertains to transcendentalist mode of owning the subject via representations. It must be aligned with the manifesto. Thus, the visuals presented by Poole act as a representation of the Latin America during the period which the visuals were taken. Her writing is supplemented by representations which she makes to own the subject that she represents (Poole, 1998, p.128).

The second regime includes quantification of experience. The visuals show the experienced that the Latin American people faced, which contributed to the US representation of the Andes. Lastly, they coincide with the modernist obstruction based on the form and content of the attainment. The three marked the distinct ways in which imperial gaze was manifested. Based on the individualism presented by Emerson’s and the ideas of nature presented by Jefferson’s, the church, heart of Andes, represented the embodiment of the first period (Abourahme, 2009, pg. 500). The painting of the church and its representation included glossy surfaces, spaced panels and single images. Through the representation, a sense of disembodiment is evoked to the viewer due to the dissocialized nature presented.

Thomas Cole was a land painter in the 19th century, and he constructed various traditional sublime canvasses which reflect stunning natural resources. He vehemently opposed utilitarianism and expansion as well as rallying against the damages that were caused to the environment due to the American civilization. The early representation of the natural resources revealed romantic sublime that expressed the majesty of the continent. It is possible that the visual language that represented the sublime was not merely employed to celebrate the landscape but to critique exceptionalism discourse (BriNded, 2014, p.230).

Even though sublime can be terrifying, it also brings about the strong emotions that can be felt in mind. Experiences of terror are responsible for igniting sublime feeling to the observer. Thus, Burke was a sublime who eliminated the feeling from the subject. The sublime can be viewed in two ways: mathematical sublime or dynamic sublime. The mathematical sublime is temporary and can be represented through incomprehensibly (Campetella and Vera, 2002, p.19). On the other hand, the dynamic sublime is threatening due to its sheer power. It cannot be controlled by human effort, and it includes earthquakes and heat of the sun. Kat focused on the human imagination provides despite the threatening nature of both the mathematical and dynamic sublime. Even if the power of reason is availed after the encounter with sublime, the human mind seems always to find its way to prevail. This is caused by the reawakening of the reason that reasserts against the sublime objects before overcoming the immediate reaction. Apart from the sublime of the earth, it is hard to find a better natural sublime (Campetella and Vera, 2002, p.29).

The paradox of landscape is a source of natural pride that arose since the US was occupied with the ideas of converting the landscapes o market capitalism commodities. Although the American land was being destroyed through expansionism, it was also venerated as an exceptional symbol of the new republic. The inhabitant of the American world was based on the equality of all things. They include trees, animals, and flowers Elizabeth presented her vision that the split of landscape presents an eloquent statement which offers a romantic dream of reconciliation (Poole, 1998, p.124). Cole saw that the American republic would take demands for moral positions. He argued that it was disagreeable to view prostrate lands and deformed burnt stumps. He was frustrated because the beauties of the arts to were not realized. The situations only got worse due to the deformation that was caused to the land. The imaginations were positive, but the real results were disappointing. To the American artists who imagined them.

The ex-bow division developed s different from the canvas completely leading to the point of discomfort. Although one side does not include men, the other includes a multitude of men, neat squatters as well as controlled plots. The growing trees, crops, and livestock are part of the border ad neatly outlined. Despite the view, the land remained chaotic and less-developed. Most people did not seem to have better lives as illustrated but they continue having a poor living condition. The growing trees in the painting as well, are a mere imagination since the truth remained evident that planting trees was not carried out (Poole, 1998, p.125). The American artist had many imaginations for the country ranging from a better people, a better natural resource protection and a better land for everyone to live in. It was frustrating to see things changing for the worse than what the artist imagined them to be, but the various artistic works developed can be used as an overview of how Americans had good imaginations for the land.

Gilpin described the movement of the Western America colonization as rich and full of suggestions concerning the dynamic sublime (Craske and Molyneux, 2002, p.67). However, Cole painted the view of Mount Holyoke over 200 years before, and scene represented a wild, uncultivated land. The situation in 1836 proved otherwise when the westward movement succeeded in overthrowing and subduing the wild nature of the situation. Gilpin believed that expansionism mirrored the dynamical sublime to overthrow the army. This was visualized in the elbow, which represented the resistance as futile (Craske and Molyneux, 2002, p.67). The painting also portrayed expansionism and utilitarianism as forms of dynamic sublime due to the scenes in of the wilderness in the painting. Despite the small shift of focus, the truth remained to the painters about the greatness of the land. They all saw opportunities and chances for the land to develop to better but the reality proved them different. Without development, it is not possible for the land to grow just like it is hard for it to grow in other dimensions of life without development in the country. Involvement of every person must be enhanced to increase the chances for a better future.

Considering the figure of the artist, a challenging inclusion with elevated valley view and surrounded with the wilderness is evident. If the artists’ participation in the artwork is not seen, then it can as well be described as an ordered world of men. Each of the art revealed a different world, which meant that Cole saw many possibilities from the land. However, each of his art reveals a positive attitude towards the land and an increased participation and involvement of the prevailing situation at that moment (Craske and Molyneux, 2002, p.76). Although situations would come to change years later, the representations offer a trial of the Americans to describe the land regarding its future. Despite the disappointing results at the end, the few credits they gave to the human imaginations have been referred to down the history. It is a relevant part of the landscape to discuss and consider when the work developed by individuals is presented (Poole, 1998, p.128).

By considering the number of people in the heart of Andes, one can easily imagine the landscape and the influence it had on the resident of the United States. The action taken on the religion of the western South American residents can be based on their religion. The image shows the rise of studio photography since it coincided with the international expositions and the zenith which occurred in the nineteenth century. The expeditions by Bingham that occurred after proceeding of the Hollywood television called for a society of the spectacle. It helped to understand the then modern visually and its relations to politics of empire which existed at the time. Visual images cannot be considered like words or reflection tools for ideological programs. They are complex and more powerful than that (Joseph, 1998, p.33).

Cole, church mentor, and his rival can be considered as historical intellectuals through their awaited and largely consumed paintings. The vision they portrayed for the people and the landscape of America shaped people’s thinking about the future of the landscape in their country. The citizens, therefore, developed the ideas of territorial expansion. The reigning aesthetics principles were used by Cole and the church to offer images to the viewers of North America. The notion developed by Gilpin shows that shows that an artist should observe ad study nature before they can engage in developing artistic works. To represent nature, however, they should have they should base their work on principles of composition and harmony. They suggested that the painting of Andes’ heart could be made better by showing the presence of residing people e.g. including a cross or villages around the church (Steinmetz, 2008, p.19).

Picturesque conventions were aimed at reacting to the landscapes that were fashionably developed in the paintings of England. They were advised to work with forming a distinctive tradition of America that had to be more spontaneous and individual compared to its European predecessor. They were also required to prevent European concerns and academic traditions about history. Rather, historical references were eliminated with new rusticity icons for the sake of focusing on the future instead of musing back to the past.  The doctrine took the aesthetic forms to another step, and the American landscape painters had better ideas. The public interest in the paintings was also swelled up, and this acted as the vehicle for combining religious experiences with patriotic emotions. The many people who saw the church paintings were also able to give their reactions since looking at the paintings helped them to develop ideas of the self.

There were many fascinating exertions by the paintings of Andy. Some painters focused on the New England as well as the Western frontier to present paintings of landscapes that could produce such effects. The artistic expeditions carried out between 1840 and 1850 coincided with the period of risen US commercial and political interest. After his journey, Church brought more paintings which were similar to but different from the landscapes he has earlier produced with his countrymen. Cole’s critique to the idea of American expansionism is directly applicable to the modern works. The speculative science fiction cinema is a representation of the modern day romantic sublime. The strategies they applied are widely used to develop the science fiction cinema.

The term wilderness can be applied to designate responses of the salient American characteristics. Wilderness can be used to understand the American mind. In most paintings, wilderness was portrayed as the rejected parts of the drawn art. It shows perversity, indifference, and alienists to emphasize the untouched and alienated quality. The wild place presented in the paintings showed primeval nature of the place and the absence of life in the area. It is the place where a person may feel perplexed, lost, or lacking guidance. The natural world of the wilderness is resistant to the human presence of the human (Steinmetz, 2008, p.55). On the other hand, landscapes with fertile lands marked the symbols of freedom and opportunities which enhanced the ideas of expansionism to the American. Once they figured out the possibility of better landscapes in other parts of the world, they are ready to expand their territory to enhance the full idea of nature in other regions. Through traveling, painters were able to develop different paints since they had seen new and probably better landscapes. Therefore, the idea of expansionism ran in the minds of the Americans who interacted with the paintings.

In Andes case, the artwork seemed to deepen their appreciation for their Americanness. Two artists were involved in the crafting of the Andes and the wonderful view in which the brought out the view explained how they appreciated their land. Humboldt, one of the artists, was able to observe the vegetation of an area and its climate. Church, on the other hand, carried out scientific observations of Andes, and this included the ecology, landscape and geographical formation of an area. The two were, therefore, able to present a complete landscape based on their finding (Campetella, 2002, p.19). After admiring Church’s Andean scene which expressed the American nature, the contemporary viewers recognized the geographical and the cultural distance that was separating them from The Andes. The picture was continental, and it led to the spirit of splendor for the viewers to explore new worlds. When writers supported Church on his idea of Andean, people were able to understand the Andean people and the painting became more famous in the continent.

Christian civilization was established after his painting on Andean. The desire for exploration increased among the American people, and the increase led to more explorations at the time. In his book, Church was able to bring out his whole idea of Andean, and the tremendous support he received was a surprise (Mosquera et al.,1996, p.58 ). He was simply producing artwork that people could be able to see and understand the deeper meaning of his ideas. It was easier for him to present the meaning of his painting since each element of it seemed to have a meaning. The church was a great contributor of the idea of expansionism in the world history. By his paintings; Church received support from writers, politicians, and citizens who believed that his paintings were real. They therefore aimed at exploring the land to discover the treasures that Church has indicated in his work (Mosquera et al.,1996, p.60 ).

Unlike Charles Marie, Church was a Northern American. For him, contemporary public recognized him and his fame spread in many parts of the continent. He was prone to European influences, and his difference is what made him stand out from the rest. His participation in the movement championed by artist Emerson marked a historic perspective in his life. He went ahead in portraying the new spirit that was directed at the Northern America, and his influence was tremendous. Although other artists developed wonderful paintings, his was outstanding, and it showed the involvement he had in his work (Steinmetz, 2008, p.29).

The church would travel to places to identify a location from where to develop his paintings. In every location he traveled, Church was able to observe the scientific factors of an area and to put it in writing and drawing. For him, limits were not after the celebration, but he seemed to continue despite the occurrences. After illustrating The Andes in his artistic work, his fame increased to a great extent, and each improvement he made was magnificent to the people of America. It paved the way for new explorations and territorial expansion (Bethell, 1998, p.18).

There are numerous factors that contributed to the success of artists’ work. For instance, there were developers who were both willing and available to help him make his arts. They guided artists on what to focus on, how to observe and study and finally how to present that information on a drawing (Campetella, 2002, p.29). The availability of support and earning not only contributed to Church’s drawing but also that of their artists. The availability of materials such as aesthetics is another factor that enhanced his work. Church and other artists were able to access materials which they used to carry out their drawing thus whenever the need arose; they were able to present their ideas and drawings in their way.

Therefore, the availability of materials enhanced the work of the artists. Information and areas of study e.g. Andean were also available which promoted the development of the imaginations. By traveling to distant places, artists were able to identify newer geographical locations which they studied and observed. The areas which interested them were easy to represent in their drawings and writing, and this was a great contribution to their work. Church, therefore, had a variety of choices to make regarding his artistic work.  In cases of any questions, there were individuals with ideas and notions that were available to assist the artists (Bethell, 1998, p.16).

The Andes were a unique place that offered a variety of paintings for the painter. Church, for instance, focused on the ideal of nature in the region and he was able to develop the relevant sources to aid his paintings. Church described the pathless wilderness in his work and experienced reduction of civilized men in the continent. The visual encounters the artists made with nature made it possible for them to imagine the physical sensation the natural man who lived out of their social compact (Lucero, 2008, p.53).

The success of artists in their paintings depended on similar dynamics. He was organized his work to bring out a complete painting that was clear on its objectives. Church constructed his paintings based on a series of residing on parallel planes. Thus, the illusion of depth that those planes created fostered the sensations of physical immersion and absorptions through which Church sought his paintings.  The Andean mountains, palms, and plains were all presented as objects with both physical and emotional effect on the contemporary viewers (Lewis, 2006, p. 162).

The visual regimes and the work of Church present many scenarios to consider in the contemporary world. For instance, the paintings present qualitative and historical elements that may be useful in the future. It is possible for researchers to need those paintings and other historical works presented by artists. Therefore, the paintings act as the symbol of historical elements that may be important someday (Steinmetz, 2008, p.55). The technology advancements today can be used to modernize the historical paintings. Therefore, keeping them is worth it. Up to date, the paintings of the 19th century are still maintained to determine the historical factors by the past artists. Therefore, every painting is important and should be maintained at a good place to act as historical evidence.

Apart from the brief sampling of paintings done by artists, one can also learn concerning the cultural and political status of then.  It takes much time to keep identifying the time for historical events, but the paintings can be used to trace the time. For example, if one finds the paintings, its time is identified by considering the period during which such paintings were established. Therefore, every historical element should be well maintained so that it can continue to enhance research and possible improvements (Craske, 2002, p.37). Due to the increase in technological considerations, the historical elements may be advanced and improved to better thus they should be maintained since they have a chance of improvement,

American Imaginations

From US representations of the Andes, there is much to learn concerning their imaginations. For instance, church developed paintings to five the geographical view of the location. He represented a certain part of Andes, and there were more ideas for where to develop their paintings. One of the factors of their imaginations is that they concentrate on a specific area of concern (Dean, 2003 pg. 21). This explains why each of the concepts presented by Church was beautiful and direct. Instead of focusing on the general view of a place, it was important to focus on a single element that the artist was interested in. From so doing, carrying out the activities of the paintings is easier for them and they can present a better drawing than the one they could have without focus.

Their imaginations made them develop the ideas of expansionism. They were willing to explore and to expand their territory to continue expanding their landscape. With the drawings of the tees, mountains, and plains by Church, the Americans developed a better understanding concerning the importance of their activities (Mainwaring, 2006, 34). After viewing the paintings of the artists, citizens were excited to explore the landscapes that they had viewed in the paintings. Thus the whole of the paintings improved the motivation that individuals had of exploring new areas in their continent.

Writers, politicians as well as citizens shifted their focus to the paintings. They all seemed to agree with the ideas that Church and other artists gave through their paintings and writing. Immediately after the painting of Church on the heart of Andes, there was an improvement suggestion for him which means that he had support from all points of view (Poole, 1998, p.127). The artists learned the new techniques to apply in their attempts to develop better paintings. The availability of ready market was an advantage for the painters since their products were on demand as soon as they had finished painting. There was a sure source of income for them which were an advantage in their paintings.


The determinant of American reach presented unlimited reach of the North American interests. The US-Latin American relation can be viewed by simply understanding the concepts discussed above. The landscape paintings developed by Church and other artists are some of the factors that contributed to the development of the idea of exceptionalism. With the increased purchase of the paintings, their ideas increased and this marked a point for them to begin in their territory expansionism. The Church presented the painting of the heart of Andes, and this led to the development of more ideas of exceptionalism.

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