Monday, December 16, 2013

Nineteenth Century Protestant Revival

The protestant revival caused a great renewal of love for god in the common people of the time. The new ideas of revivalists appealed to many people. One method of getting this new message out to the masses was by having massive "camp meetings." These were events in which a stage was built, and a preacher would spout holy fire for thousands of listeners to hear. These events could last days, and even as long as a week in some cases.
Religious Camp Meeting
By J. Maze Burbank, 1839
J. Maze Burbank was an artist of relatively high esteem at the time. He exhibited this watercolor in the Royal Society in London. However, it is unknown what specific preacher this was, when it occurred or where it occurred. Because the creator of this painting had no known religious bias, it is assumed that he was painting this from a neutral point of view. Burbank described the watercolor as, "a camp meeting, or religious revival in America, from a sketch taken on the spot." When this painting was produced, the Protestant Revival was sweeping across the nation, and especially in the Northeast. Preachers and revivalists such as Lyman Beecher and Charles Grandison Finney were important figures in the revival movement. We can see from this painting that the speakers at the camp meetings were very powerful and sent a strong message. There are people in the crowd weeping, rejoicing and everywhere in between. However, this painting shows just one camp meeting, and there were likely hundreds throughout the protestant revival movement. We are not able to see whether all camp meetings were so emotional as this one. The author was not trying to convince us of anything, for he was simply recording the events that transcribed at this event.

J. Maze Burbank, Religious Camp Meeting, Watercolor, 1839, Old Dartmouth Historical Society-New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Massachusetts

No comments:

Post a Comment