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Resurrection of Christ Pinturicchio, 1492-1494. Portraying The First Contact in The New World. “the pictures of sondry things collected and counterfeited according to the truth…” Title page description of John White’s watercolor images of Native Americans, 1585

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Resurrection of Christ

Pinturicchio, 1492-1494


Portraying the first contact in the new world
Portraying The First Contact in The New World

“the pictures of sondry things collected and counterfeited according to the truth…”

  • Title page description of John White’s watercolor images of Native Americans, 1585

    “To ‘counterfeit’ was to engage in a reportorial mode of visual depiction that recorded things and events as they were witnessed by the eye, not as they were composed by the artist.”

    “It was not a particular style or subject matter that defined the counterfeit; rather it was defined by its…status as uninterpreted nature.”

    (excerpt from A New Literary History of America (Harvard University Press Reference Library))


What did the first images of The New World convey to the people back in Europe? What impact would these images have had on future exploration of The New World?

  • Thomas Harriot’s Report: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/jamestown-browse?id=J1009

    • Scroll down about ¼ of the way until you get to the section: THE TRUE PICTURES AND FASHIONS OF THE PEOPLE IN THAT PARTE OF AMERICA NOW CALLED VIRGINIA, DISCOVURED BY ENGLISHMEN

  • John Smith map: http://www.virtualjamestown.org/maps1.html


"A weroan or great Lorde of Virginia" people back in Europe? What impact would these images have had on future exploration of The New World?

Engraving by Theodor De Bry, 1590


Truly people back in Europe? What impact would these images have had on future exploration of The New World? ‘counterfeit’??

The Ambassadors

Hans Holbein the Younger, 1533


"Indian Woman and Baby of Poemiooc" by John White (created 1585-1586)

"Indian Conjuror" by John White (created 1585-1586).


“Adam and Eve” 1585-1586)

Drawing by Theodor De Bry, 1590


The Massachusetts Bay Colony's official seal features a Native American uttering the words "Come over and help us."


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