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View of Salem

Artist/Maker:
Redeken, Ludwig Gottfried von
Place Made:
Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
1787
Medium:
watercolor and ink on paper
Dimensions:
HOA: 9; WOA: 15 1/4
Framed; HOA 13; WOA 19; DOA 1 1/4
Accession Number:
P-537
Description:
This is the earliest known view of Salem. Images similar to this were sent to the governing center of the Moravian Church in Herrnhut, Germany, as visual evidence of the town’s success. Salem is depicted as a thriving “city on a hill” surrounded by richly cultivated agricultural land. The artist includes a farmer plowing the rich soil and paints himself recording the scene on the lower right. Note the tavern – the gateway for outsiders coming to visit – on the outskirts of the town to keep strangers separate from the members of the congregation.

Watercolor on paper, landscape scene. Two human figures appear in this scene, one is working with a plow attached to two horses in a field which is surrounded by a cross fence. He appears in a side/ profile view. The other man is sitting on a log to the right in the same field, and he appears in a three-quarters view of his face. Holding a sketch pad and writing instruments, he draws the scene. Both men wear hats, jackets and pants. On the fence line in front of the field are purple flowers, while a row of spruce trees is planted along the fence line to the back of this field. Two cut tree trunks remain in the field. More fields appear in the background leading the viewer’s eye to the houses in the background. These and a barn appear in clusters to the left, then further back in the center, and then to the right of the scene.

History:
SCENE: The scene depicts the town of Salem from the west. The artist appears seated to the right in this painting.
RELATED NAME: von Redeken~Ludwig Gottfried
Credit Line:
Wachovia Historical Society Collection