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Baptism of Pocahontas
 

 

 

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Summary

Description John Gadsby Chapman depicts Pocahontas, wearing white, being baptized Rebecca by Anglican minister Alexander Whiteaker in Jamestown, Virginia; this event is believed to have taken place in 1613 or 1614. She kneels, surrounded by family members and colonists. Her brother Nantequaus turns away from the ceremony. The baptism took place before her marriage to Englishman John Rolfe, who stands behind her. Their union is said to be the first recorded marriage between a European and a Native American. The scene symbolizes the belief of Americans at the time that Native Americans should accept Christianity and other European ways.

Chapman (1808-1889), born in Alexandria, Virginia, studied art in Italy and became known for his portrait and historical paintings and his rich use of color.

The dimensions of this oil painting on canvas are 365.76 cm by 548.64 cm (144.00 in by 216.00 in).
Date 1840(1840)
Source Architect of the Capitol
Author John Gadsby Chapman (photograph courtesy Architect of the Capitol)

Licensing

Public domain This image is a work of an employee of the Architect of the Capitol, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, all images created or made by the Architect of the Capitol are in the public domain, with the exception of classified information. Architect of the Capitol logo


Licensing:
Public Domain

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