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Word Count: 649
During the mid-nineteenth century the United States was undergoing many cultural changes Towns were becoming cities mass production was becoming prevalent and many variations of people were coming to live This made for major changes in social structure There seemed to be a high class the elites and the lower class However this spawned a need for changes in this structure something to bridge the gap William Sidney Mount captured this bridge of sorts in his paintings His depictions of American life with subjects of an elite status intermingled with subjects of a lower class were cause of his praise as educator and moral critic propounding freedom by individual example and arguing through his art for the establishment of a new order based on an emerging middle-class consciousness or ideology Oedel Gernes 129 Mounts use of basic artistic techniques made it easy for viewers to relate and understand the meanings in his works His works were viewed by the American public as deceptively elementary original comprehensible nationalistic forceful and timely Oedel Gernes 128 Mount bridged the gap masterfully in nearly all of his works employing elements of the two predominant social classes He did so in the work that he is most famous for The Painters Triumph which he painted in 1838 at the age of 31 The painting shows a painter triumphantly showing his piece to a farmer both men indicative of their respective social classes The farmer has a whip in his hand and is hutched over as if in awe The painting shows that the farmer has started from repose both physical and intellectual having risen from his chair to lean forward in attention Oedel Gernes 137 The painter meanwhile has his arms open as a sign of enthusiasm The greater the extension of the arms the more they express energy of sentiment and feeling and the more epic the character of the gesture Oedel Gernes
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