Visiting the National Gallery of Art


Since the very humble beginnings of human civilization man has had ways of expressing his feelings and emotions about others, his society, environments, and significant historical events like battles with other communities or immigration episodes as well as his normal and bizarre imaginations.

These ways range from music, literary works to creative works of art like paintings. For instance, during Stone Age period man did Rock Art whereby he painted on the walls of his cave dwellings the animals he hunted and tools that he was making among other thrilling experiences in his life and lives of his ancestors as he understood it from those who narrated it to him.

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Art has been a major component of all human civilizations world over and has evolved alongside other aspects of our cultures to an extent that today the most talented creative artists like painters and musicians are celebrated individuals who hold esteemed social status envied by many. The purpose of this task is to discuss three works of art identified during my visit to the National Gallery of Art.

Themes in Works of Art

Every human action is underpinned by a certain motive. In other words, whatever man engages in is fundamentally a means of expressing his thoughts, interests and aspirations. Arguably then, man’s historical and present tangible achievements is a manifestation of his thoughts and aspirations. Works of art is a perfect means through which man expresses his feelings, ideas and perceptions about every aspect of his life.

This fact explains why documented and well preserved works of art are reliable sources of information for historians and other scholars like anthropologists and artists seeking to understand certain aspects of peoples’ culture in the past. In a nut shell, all works of art are thematic in the sense that they have meaning which a keen observer can decipher as illustrated in the following works of art discussed in this task.

The Battle of La Hogue (1778)

Benjamin West painting titled The Battle of La Hogue is a classic piece of creativity. It was painted in 1778. The Battle of La Hogue is a historical painting. This painting is a depiction of the feud that ensued when Louis XIV of France attempted d to restore his fellow Catholic James II to the throne of England.

After nine years Benjamin West used his artistic prowess to give a picture of the patriotic scene that has been dismissed by critics as a mere propaganda. Thematically, this painting represents turbulent political and power happenings in Western European countries as well as the role that religion was playing in politics.

Mortlake Terrace (1827)

Mortlake Terrace painting is an 1827 art work by Joseph Mallord William Turner. Mortlake Terrace painting is an environmental portrait. This painting portrays Mortlake Terrace which was situated next to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.

It is a perfect representation of British topography of the early 1880s.Thematically, this piece is a show of the artist feeling and perception of the changing British landscapes.

The Death of the Earl of Chatham (1779)

The Death of the Earl of Chatham was done by the Boston-based portraitist John Singleton Copley in 1779.This painting is a representation of the tragic death of William Pitt, the 1st Earl of Chatham on April 1778.In the middle of his speech during a discussion about colonial radicals, Pitt suffered from stroke and met his death one month later.

His death meant a lot because he was one of the leading British ambassadorial moderates during the important American War of independence. Thematically, it is a representation of politics of those time and those who were driving the political agendas of the day.


Art is an important component of our culture which offers talented individuals a perfect means through which to manifest our feelings and emotions about all aspects of our life. It offers people an opportunity for people to portray their thoughts and aspirations as well as those of the early members of the society.

It captures perfectly our experiences and perceptions regarding everything that we encounter in our day to day activities Lazzari and Schlesier (2006).

Works Cited

Lazzari, Margaret and Schlesier, Dona. Exploring art: a global, thematic approach. Belmont, CA: Thomson, 2006. Print.