Fireflies: Masterpiece: Pilgrims Going to Church         

Jan 19, 2012

Masterpiece: Pilgrims Going to Church

by George Henry Boughton

George Henry Boughton was born in England and his parents took him to America when he was a baby. When he grew up, he became a painter and sold his first painting when he was 19 years old.  He took the money and visited London.  Then he went back to America for a couple of years.  He decided to study in Paris for a while, but eventually made London his home.  He established an art studio there in 1861 and began to concentrate his work on early American Colonial history.

He liked to paint landscapes and also pictures of people.  In this painting, he shows a group of Pilgrims walking to church.  Life was very hard for these early settlers, and many of them died because of the extreme conditions.
Boughton also was an illustrator or books. He drew the pictures for Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter and Washington Irving's books Rip Van Winkle and The History of New York.

Some possible questions to share as you explore Pilgrims Going to Church with your children:
  1. What time of the year is it?
  2. Is Is the light in the picture direct sunlight?  Have you ever seen light like this on a snowy day?
  3. There are some things that make the picture seem very quiet; what are they?
  4. Do you know the early history of the Pilgrims?  If so, do you think the people are talking to each other?
  5. What does the picture tell you about the men who are leading and following?   Who are others in the group?
  6. Is there anything in the picture to make one feel that they are in danger?  What do they fear?
  7. How important do you think gathering for worship was to the Pilgrims?  Why?

    Please share additional questions a parent could ask about "Pilgrims Going to Church" in the comment section below so that we can expand our art appreciation database.

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At December 26, 2012 at 3:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

how many painting did george henry boughton actally draw and paint? how about a drawing and painting called the old country road? also drawn by this man i have seen it and told about it when i was a child by great great grandparents

At January 1, 2013 at 9:41 AM , Anonymous Laura Bird Miller said...

I could not find definitive information as to how many paintings George Henry Boughton actually drew and painted in his lifetime, but surely a great many! That is really exciting that your great great grandparents shared with you about 'the old country road.' Was it a painting of a wooded landscape with peasants in a horse-drawn cart travelling down a flooded road, most noticeably the oxen drinking along the road and the wonderful reflections in the water? Thanks so much for sharing! We appreciate that you took the time to connect with us!


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