Painting: Destiny Manifest

His prominence lasted little more than a decade, but while it did Frederic Edwin Church caught the imagination of the American public as no other U.S. painter had before. In the 1850s, his eloquent flair for embodying the nation's grand notion of "manifest destiny" made his paintings public events. On one day alone in 1857, Horace Greeley, George Bancroft, George Ripley, Henry Ward Beecher and Charles A. Dana were among the crowds that filed past Church's Niagara. Two years later, the throngs that flocked to his studio to see The Heart of the Andes were so dense that policemen...

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