The Paintrist Files
13atg:

Armand Guillaumin - Madame Guillaumin Fishing, 1885

Armand Guillaumin (February 16, 1841 – June 26, 1927) was a French impressionist painter and lithographer.
Born Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin in Paris, he worked at his uncle’s lingerie shop while attending evening drawing lessons. He also worked for a French government railway before studying at the Académie Suisse in 1861. There, he met Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro with whom he maintained lifelong friendships. While he never achieved the stature of these two, his influence on their work was significant. Cézanne attempted his first etching based on Guillaumin paintings of barges on the River Seine.
Guillaumin exhibited at the Salon des Refusés in 1863. He participated in six of the eight Impressionist exhibitions: 1874, 1877, 1880, 1881, 1882 and 1886. In 1886 he became a friend of Vincent van Gogh whose brother, Theo sold some of his works. He was finally able to quit his government job and concentrate on painting full-time in 1891, when he won 100,000 francs in the state lottery.
Noted for their intense colours, Guillamin’s paintings are represented in major museums around the world. He is best remembered for his landscapes of Paris, the Creuse département, and the area around Les Adrets-de-l’Estérel near the Mediterraneran coast in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France. Guillamin was called the leader of the École de Crozant, a diverse group of painters who came to depict the landscape in the region of the Creuse around the village of Crozant. One of these depictions, titled Landscape in Crozant, is housed in the Chicago Institute of Arts. His bust is in the square near the village church.
Armand Guillaumin died in 1927 in Orly, Val-de-Marne just south of Paris.

13atg:

Armand Guillaumin - Madame Guillaumin Fishing, 1885

Armand Guillaumin (February 16, 1841 – June 26, 1927) was a French impressionist painter and lithographer.

Born Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin in Paris, he worked at his uncle’s lingerie shop while attending evening drawing lessons. He also worked for a French government railway before studying at the Académie Suisse in 1861. There, he met Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro with whom he maintained lifelong friendships. While he never achieved the stature of these two, his influence on their work was significant. Cézanne attempted his first etching based on Guillaumin paintings of barges on the River Seine.

Guillaumin exhibited at the Salon des Refusés in 1863. He participated in six of the eight Impressionist exhibitions: 1874, 1877, 1880, 1881, 1882 and 1886. In 1886 he became a friend of Vincent van Gogh whose brother, Theo sold some of his works. He was finally able to quit his government job and concentrate on painting full-time in 1891, when he won 100,000 francs in the state lottery.

Noted for their intense colours, Guillamin’s paintings are represented in major museums around the world. He is best remembered for his landscapes of Paris, the Creuse département, and the area around Les Adrets-de-l’Estérel near the Mediterraneran coast in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France. Guillamin was called the leader of the École de Crozant, a diverse group of painters who came to depict the landscape in the region of the Creuse around the village of Crozant. One of these depictions, titled Landscape in Crozant, is housed in the Chicago Institute of Arts. His bust is in the square near the village church.

Armand Guillaumin died in 1927 in Orly, Val-de-Marne just south of Paris.

William Hart - The Rivulet
William McDougal Hart (March 31, 1823 – June 17, 1894), was a Scottish-born American landscape and cattle painter, and Hudson River School artist. His younger brother, James McDougal Hart, was also a Hudson River School artist, and the two painted similar subjects. He studied under Jules-Joseph Lefebvre.
Hart was born in Paisley, Scotland, and was taken to America in early youth by his family. He was apprenticed to a carriage painter at Albany, New York, and his first artistic experience was in decorating the panels of coaches with landscapes. He also spent time as a portrait painter. He returned to Europe, probably in the early or mid-1840s, where he studied for three years under Jules-Joseph Lefebvre.
By the time he returned to America, Hart had shifted his energy to landscape painting. He exhibited his first work at the National Academy of Design in 1848, became a full member in 1858, and continued to show his paintings there regularly through the mid-1870s. He also exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association and at major exhibitions around the country. Hart was a member of the American Watercolor Society, and was its president from 1870 to 1873.
Like most of the major American landscape artists of the time, Hart settled in New York City, where he opened a studio in the Tenth Street Studio building in 1858. His mature landscape style embraced the mannerism of the late Hudson River School by emphasizing light and atmosphere. He became particularly adept at depicting angled sunlight and foreground shadow; the best examples of this are: Seashore Morning (1866) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; After the Storm (1860s) in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Last Gleam (1865) in the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia; Sunset in the Valley (1870) in a private collection, featured on pp. 82–83 of All That is Glorious Around Us: Paintings from the Hudson River School by John Driscoll; and A Quiet Nook (1885) in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.
As strong as Hart’s technical abilities were, he is also known for his prolific and occasionally formulaic paintings of cows. Cattle were a popular motif in Hudson River School art, and nearly every artist included them in at least some of their landscapes as diminutive symbols of man’s harmonious relationship with nature. Some artists, including William and James Hart along with Thomas Bigelow Craig, made a specialty of cow portraits. These paintings, which were very popular with late-19th-century American collectors, typically featured several cattle grazing or watering in the foreground or middle distance with the landscape playing a supporting role as a bucolic backdrop.
The Albany Institute of History & Art has in its collection over 400 sketches, water colors, and sketch books which were retained en masse from the artist’s studio after his death, by the family of the subsequent donor. Since each piece is signed, dated, and annoted with the location of its subject, many previously unsigned and unattributed paintings are now being associated with the artist. The museum is preparing an exhibition of this material.
Hart died at Mount Vernon, New York, on June 17, 1894. His daughter Jessie Hart White was the mother of E. B. White.

William Hart - The Rivulet

William McDougal Hart (March 31, 1823 – June 17, 1894), was a Scottish-born American landscape and cattle painter, and Hudson River School artist. His younger brother, James McDougal Hart, was also a Hudson River School artist, and the two painted similar subjects. He studied under Jules-Joseph Lefebvre.

Hart was born in Paisley, Scotland, and was taken to America in early youth by his family. He was apprenticed to a carriage painter at Albany, New York, and his first artistic experience was in decorating the panels of coaches with landscapes. He also spent time as a portrait painter. He returned to Europe, probably in the early or mid-1840s, where he studied for three years under Jules-Joseph Lefebvre.

By the time he returned to America, Hart had shifted his energy to landscape painting. He exhibited his first work at the National Academy of Design in 1848, became a full member in 1858, and continued to show his paintings there regularly through the mid-1870s. He also exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association and at major exhibitions around the country. Hart was a member of the American Watercolor Society, and was its president from 1870 to 1873.

Like most of the major American landscape artists of the time, Hart settled in New York City, where he opened a studio in the Tenth Street Studio building in 1858. His mature landscape style embraced the mannerism of the late Hudson River School by emphasizing light and atmosphere. He became particularly adept at depicting angled sunlight and foreground shadow; the best examples of this are: Seashore Morning (1866) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; After the Storm (1860s) in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Last Gleam (1865) in the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia; Sunset in the Valley (1870) in a private collection, featured on pp. 82–83 of All That is Glorious Around Us: Paintings from the Hudson River School by John Driscoll; and A Quiet Nook (1885) in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.

As strong as Hart’s technical abilities were, he is also known for his prolific and occasionally formulaic paintings of cows. Cattle were a popular motif in Hudson River School art, and nearly every artist included them in at least some of their landscapes as diminutive symbols of man’s harmonious relationship with nature. Some artists, including William and James Hart along with Thomas Bigelow Craig, made a specialty of cow portraits. These paintings, which were very popular with late-19th-century American collectors, typically featured several cattle grazing or watering in the foreground or middle distance with the landscape playing a supporting role as a bucolic backdrop.

The Albany Institute of History & Art has in its collection over 400 sketches, water colors, and sketch books which were retained en masse from the artist’s studio after his death, by the family of the subsequent donor. Since each piece is signed, dated, and annoted with the location of its subject, many previously unsigned and unattributed paintings are now being associated with the artist. The museum is preparing an exhibition of this material.

Hart died at Mount Vernon, New York, on June 17, 1894. His daughter Jessie Hart White was the mother of E. B. White.

downwiththepimp:

James McDougal Hart - At the water’s edge (1871)

James McDougal Hart (May 10, 1828 – October 24, 1901), was a Scottish-born American landscape and cattle painter of the Hudson River School. His older brother, William Hart, was also a Hudson River School artist, and the two painted similar subjects.
Hart was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland, and was taken to America with his family in early youth. In Albany, New York he trained with a sign and carriage maker—possibly the same employer that had taken on his brother in his early career. Unlike his brother, however, James returned to Europe for serious artistic training. He studied in Munich, and was a pupil of Friedrich Wilhelm Schirmer at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting.
Hart returned to America in 1853. He exhibited his first work at the National Academy of Design in 1848, became an associate in 1857 and a full member in 1859. James Hart was particularly devoted to the National Academy, exhibiting there over a period of more than forty years, and serving as vice president late in his life from 1895 to 1899. Like his brother, James also exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association (he lived for a time in Brooklyn) and at major exhibitions around the country.
Along with most of the major landscape artists of the time, Hart based his operations in New York City and adopted the style of the Hudson River School. While James Hart and his brother William often painted similar landscape subjects, James may have been more inclined to paint exceptionally large works. An example is The Old Homestead (1862), 42 x 68 inches, in the collection of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. James may have been exposed to large paintings while studying in Düsseldorf, a center of realist art pedagogy that also shaped the practices of Albert Bierstadt and Worthington Whittredge. William Hart, who did not seek academic European training, seems to have been more comfortable painting small and mid-sized works.
Like his brother William, James excelled at painting cattle. Kevin J. Avery writes, “the bovine subjects that once distinguished [his works] now seem the embodiment of Hart’s artistic complacency.” (p. 250 in American Drawings and Watercolors in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Volume I: A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born Before 1835) In contrast with the complacency of some of his cattle scenes, his major landscape paintings are considered important works of the Hudson River School. A particularly fine example is Summer in the Catskills, now in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, Spain.
James Hart was survived by two daughters, both figure painters, Letitia Bonnet Hart (1867 - Sept. 1953) and Mary Theresa Hart (1872–1942).

downwiththepimp:

James McDougal Hart - At the water’s edge (1871)

James McDougal Hart (May 10, 1828 – October 24, 1901), was a Scottish-born American landscape and cattle painter of the Hudson River School. His older brother, William Hart, was also a Hudson River School artist, and the two painted similar subjects.

Hart was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland, and was taken to America with his family in early youth. In Albany, New York he trained with a sign and carriage maker—possibly the same employer that had taken on his brother in his early career. Unlike his brother, however, James returned to Europe for serious artistic training. He studied in Munich, and was a pupil of Friedrich Wilhelm Schirmer at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting.

Hart returned to America in 1853. He exhibited his first work at the National Academy of Design in 1848, became an associate in 1857 and a full member in 1859. James Hart was particularly devoted to the National Academy, exhibiting there over a period of more than forty years, and serving as vice president late in his life from 1895 to 1899. Like his brother, James also exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association (he lived for a time in Brooklyn) and at major exhibitions around the country.

Along with most of the major landscape artists of the time, Hart based his operations in New York City and adopted the style of the Hudson River School. While James Hart and his brother William often painted similar landscape subjects, James may have been more inclined to paint exceptionally large works. An example is The Old Homestead (1862), 42 x 68 inches, in the collection of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. James may have been exposed to large paintings while studying in Düsseldorf, a center of realist art pedagogy that also shaped the practices of Albert Bierstadt and Worthington Whittredge. William Hart, who did not seek academic European training, seems to have been more comfortable painting small and mid-sized works.

Like his brother William, James excelled at painting cattle. Kevin J. Avery writes, “the bovine subjects that once distinguished [his works] now seem the embodiment of Hart’s artistic complacency.” (p. 250 in American Drawings and Watercolors in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Volume I: A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born Before 1835) In contrast with the complacency of some of his cattle scenes, his major landscape paintings are considered important works of the Hudson River School. A particularly fine example is Summer in the Catskills, now in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, Spain.

James Hart was survived by two daughters, both figure painters, Letitia Bonnet Hart (1867 - Sept. 1953) and Mary Theresa Hart (1872–1942).

Robert Duncanson - Vesuvius and Pompeii, 1870
10 x 15 5/8 in. (25.4 x 39.7 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, USA
Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821 – December 21, 1872) was an African-American painter associated with the Hudson River School. He is often described incorrectly as Robert Scott Duncanson, the son of a Canadian of Scottish descent, but he was actually descended from freed Virginia slaves.
He was born in Seneca County, New York, in 1821. As a young boy, Duncanson lived with his father in Canada, while his mother lived in Mount Pleasant, Ohio, a village fifteen miles (24 km) north of Cincinnati. It was not until the summer of 1841 that Duncanson left Canada for Mount Pleasant. Upon his return to his mother’s home, Duncanson said, “I’ve come back to be an artist.” Yearning to do more with paint than use it on houses, as he had been doing since 1838 with his house painting and decorating venture, he moved to Cincinnati, which seemed to be the right place. Around this time period, Cincinnati was “known as the Athens of the West.” Although Duncanson possessed the drive and determination to be an artist, he received no technical training. Instead, “determined to break into the exclusively Caucasian art community [… he] taught himself art by painting portraits and copying prints.” Duncanson’s determination paid off with a long career that was active until his death in 1872. During his lifetime Duncanson married twice and had three children, Reuben, Milton, and daughter Bertha. Robert Duncanson’s life and career took him around the globe and back again.
Duncanson’s artistic career had several phases which lead him to travel both the country and the world for the pursuit of his art. Because he was not a formally trained artist, he honed his skills copying prints and painting portraits. In 1842 Duncanson had three portraits (“Fancy Portrait,” “Infant Savior, a copy,” and “Miser”) accepted to the last exhibition hosted by the Society for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge which had succeeded the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts. This served as his public debut to the art world, however this success also came with a dose of reality. No one in Duncanson’s family, not even his mother was allowed to attend the show because of their ethnicity. But keeping everyone’s spirits up his mother said of his paintings, “I know what they look like […] I know that they are there! That’s the important thing.”
Taking a short break from portrait work, Duncanson collaborated with another artist, photographer Coates. Together, on “March 19, 1844, Coates and Duncanson advertised a spectacle of ‘Chemical Paintings… comprising four splendid views after the singular style of Daguerre.” It is thought that Duncanson was the artistic mind behind the composition of the images while Coates took care of the technical side. Although Duncanson was making progress as an artist personally and publicly, the lack of commissions for his work pushed him to move to Detroit in 1845.
While in Detroit, Duncanson returned to his roots as a portrait painter and was well received by the local press. In 1846, the Detroit Daily Advertiser praised Duncanson for his skill and color usage, adding, “Mr. Duncanson deserves, and we trust will receive the patronage of all lovers of the fine arts.” Portrait commissions in Detroit were forthcoming, but Duncanson was becoming interested in the genre painting tradition. He was first exposed to the tradition of genre painting through the work of fellow Cincinnati artist James H. Beard. Tired of Detroit and longing to expand his repertoire, Duncanson returned to Cincinnati in 1846.
As he moved away from portrait work, the exploration journals of John Stevens and Frederick Catherwood, Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan intrigued Duncanson. The prints in these books prompted Duncanson to experiment with far off places and forgotten civilizations in his work. Back in Cincinnati and full of new inspiration, he received a career-boosting commission from Charles Avery. Avery was an abolitionist Methodist minister who commissioned the work Cliff Mine, Lake Superior in 1848. Not only did this work bolster Duncanson’s career as a landscape painter, it also established him within a network of abolitionist patrons who would sustain most of his career.
After the successful work done for Avery, Duncanson dove into the realm of landscape painting. Along with two other Cincinnati artists, Whittredge and Sonntag, Duncanson became inspired by the work of the Hudson River School artists and aspired to paint the American landscape. Together, the three artists set out on a series of sketching trips around the country to provide them with the necessary material and inspiration to bring back to their Cincinnati studios. After sketching tours scattered about, Duncanson focused on the Ohio River Valley in the early 1850s. With his ambitions cast on landscape work, and feeling the influence of the Hudson River artists, Duncanson strived to transform his topographical works into something more like they had, including “moral messages or literary associations.” To do this he turned to Thomas Cole, copying many of his works dealing with paradise and drawing parallels between the imaginary lands painted and America.
With the onset of the Civil War Duncanson exiled himself to Canada and the United Kingdom. In 1863 he took up residence in Montreal and would stay for two years. Here he was accepted enthusiastically and was inspirational to Canadian painters such as Otto Reinhold Jacobi. Canadians loved Duncanson as one of their own and thought of him as one of “the earliest of our professional cultivators of the fine arts.” The Canadian landscape greatly influenced Duncanson, and is evident in many of his works. In 1865 he left Canada for the United Kingdom, particularly England and Scotland, to tour one of his most accomplished works, The Land of the Lotus Eaters. In Europe, his work was well received and the prestigious London Art Journal declared him a master of landscape painting. In the winter of 1866–67 Duncanson returned to Cincinnati. Inspired by his European travels he painted many scenes of the Scottish landscape.
In the final years of his life, Duncanson created some of his greatest works. Throughout his career, his works had always tended toward the pastoral, and his late works continued to show his love of landscape painting and resonated calmness and serenity. Duncanson fell physically and psychologically ill and died in Detroit, Michigan on December 21, 1872, when he was 51 years old. With the changing cultural tastes of the time Robert Scott Duncanson’s work fell into obscurity. He was buried at the Woodland Cemetery in Monroe, Michigan.

Robert Duncanson - Vesuvius and Pompeii, 1870

10 x 15 5/8 in. (25.4 x 39.7 cm.)

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, USA

Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821 – December 21, 1872) was an African-American painter associated with the Hudson River School. He is often described incorrectly as Robert Scott Duncanson, the son of a Canadian of Scottish descent, but he was actually descended from freed Virginia slaves.

He was born in Seneca County, New York, in 1821. As a young boy, Duncanson lived with his father in Canada, while his mother lived in Mount Pleasant, Ohio, a village fifteen miles (24 km) north of Cincinnati. It was not until the summer of 1841 that Duncanson left Canada for Mount Pleasant. Upon his return to his mother’s home, Duncanson said, “I’ve come back to be an artist.” Yearning to do more with paint than use it on houses, as he had been doing since 1838 with his house painting and decorating venture, he moved to Cincinnati, which seemed to be the right place. Around this time period, Cincinnati was “known as the Athens of the West.” Although Duncanson possessed the drive and determination to be an artist, he received no technical training. Instead, “determined to break into the exclusively Caucasian art community [… he] taught himself art by painting portraits and copying prints.” Duncanson’s determination paid off with a long career that was active until his death in 1872. During his lifetime Duncanson married twice and had three children, Reuben, Milton, and daughter Bertha. Robert Duncanson’s life and career took him around the globe and back again.

Duncanson’s artistic career had several phases which lead him to travel both the country and the world for the pursuit of his art. Because he was not a formally trained artist, he honed his skills copying prints and painting portraits. In 1842 Duncanson had three portraits (“Fancy Portrait,” “Infant Savior, a copy,” and “Miser”) accepted to the last exhibition hosted by the Society for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge which had succeeded the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts. This served as his public debut to the art world, however this success also came with a dose of reality. No one in Duncanson’s family, not even his mother was allowed to attend the show because of their ethnicity. But keeping everyone’s spirits up his mother said of his paintings, “I know what they look like […] I know that they are there! That’s the important thing.”

Taking a short break from portrait work, Duncanson collaborated with another artist, photographer Coates. Together, on “March 19, 1844, Coates and Duncanson advertised a spectacle of ‘Chemical Paintings… comprising four splendid views after the singular style of Daguerre.” It is thought that Duncanson was the artistic mind behind the composition of the images while Coates took care of the technical side. Although Duncanson was making progress as an artist personally and publicly, the lack of commissions for his work pushed him to move to Detroit in 1845.

While in Detroit, Duncanson returned to his roots as a portrait painter and was well received by the local press. In 1846, the Detroit Daily Advertiser praised Duncanson for his skill and color usage, adding, “Mr. Duncanson deserves, and we trust will receive the patronage of all lovers of the fine arts.” Portrait commissions in Detroit were forthcoming, but Duncanson was becoming interested in the genre painting tradition. He was first exposed to the tradition of genre painting through the work of fellow Cincinnati artist James H. Beard. Tired of Detroit and longing to expand his repertoire, Duncanson returned to Cincinnati in 1846.

As he moved away from portrait work, the exploration journals of John Stevens and Frederick Catherwood, Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan intrigued Duncanson. The prints in these books prompted Duncanson to experiment with far off places and forgotten civilizations in his work. Back in Cincinnati and full of new inspiration, he received a career-boosting commission from Charles Avery. Avery was an abolitionist Methodist minister who commissioned the work Cliff Mine, Lake Superior in 1848. Not only did this work bolster Duncanson’s career as a landscape painter, it also established him within a network of abolitionist patrons who would sustain most of his career.

After the successful work done for Avery, Duncanson dove into the realm of landscape painting. Along with two other Cincinnati artists, Whittredge and Sonntag, Duncanson became inspired by the work of the Hudson River School artists and aspired to paint the American landscape. Together, the three artists set out on a series of sketching trips around the country to provide them with the necessary material and inspiration to bring back to their Cincinnati studios. After sketching tours scattered about, Duncanson focused on the Ohio River Valley in the early 1850s. With his ambitions cast on landscape work, and feeling the influence of the Hudson River artists, Duncanson strived to transform his topographical works into something more like they had, including “moral messages or literary associations.” To do this he turned to Thomas Cole, copying many of his works dealing with paradise and drawing parallels between the imaginary lands painted and America.

With the onset of the Civil War Duncanson exiled himself to Canada and the United Kingdom. In 1863 he took up residence in Montreal and would stay for two years. Here he was accepted enthusiastically and was inspirational to Canadian painters such as Otto Reinhold Jacobi. Canadians loved Duncanson as one of their own and thought of him as one of “the earliest of our professional cultivators of the fine arts.” The Canadian landscape greatly influenced Duncanson, and is evident in many of his works. In 1865 he left Canada for the United Kingdom, particularly England and Scotland, to tour one of his most accomplished works, The Land of the Lotus Eaters. In Europe, his work was well received and the prestigious London Art Journal declared him a master of landscape painting. In the winter of 1866–67 Duncanson returned to Cincinnati. Inspired by his European travels he painted many scenes of the Scottish landscape.

In the final years of his life, Duncanson created some of his greatest works. Throughout his career, his works had always tended toward the pastoral, and his late works continued to show his love of landscape painting and resonated calmness and serenity. Duncanson fell physically and psychologically ill and died in Detroit, Michigan on December 21, 1872, when he was 51 years old. With the changing cultural tastes of the time Robert Scott Duncanson’s work fell into obscurity. He was buried at the Woodland Cemetery in Monroe, Michigan.

angelsmaketheirhopehere:

image

image

"Landscape with Rainbow" by Robert S. Duncanson (1859)

"Mount Oxford" by Robert S. Duncanson (1864)

Robert S. Duncanson (1821 – December 21, 1872) was an African-American painter associated with the Hudson River School. - wikipedia

"Robert S. Duncanson is said to have been…

fleurdulys:
Jasper Francis Cropsey - Autumn Lake - 1875
Jasper Francis Cropsey (February 18, 1823 – June 22, 1900) was an important American landscape artist of the Hudson River School.
Cropsey was born on his father Jacob Rezeau Cropsey’s farm in Rossville on Staten Island, New York, the oldest of eight children. As a young boy, Cropsey had recurring periods of poor health. While absent from school, Cropsey taught himself to draw. His early drawings included architectural sketches and landscapes drawn on notepads and in the margins of his schoolbooks.
Trained as an architect, he set up his own office in 1843. Cropsey studied watercolor and life drawing at the National Academy of Design under the instruction of Edward Maury and first exhibited there in 1844. A year later he was elected an associate member and turned exclusively to landscape painting; shortly after he was featured in an exhibition entitled “Italian Compositions”.
Cropsey married Maria Cooley in May 1847, traveled in Europe from 1847–1849, visiting England, France, Switzerland, and Italy. He was elected a full member of the Academy in 1851. Cropsey was a personal friend of Henry Tappan, the president of the University of Michigan from 1852 to 1863. At Tappan’s invitation, he traveled to Ann Arbor in 1855 and produced two paintings, one of the Detroit Observatory, and a landscape of the campus. He went abroad again in 1855, and resided seven years in London, sending his pictures to the Royal Academy and to the International exhibition of 1862.
Returning home, he opened a studio in New York and specialized in autumnal landscape paintings of the northeastern United States, often idealized and with vivid colors. Cropsey co-founded, with ten fellow artists, the American Society of Painters in Water Colors in 1866. In 1869 Cropsey built a 29-room Gothic Revival mansion and studio in Warwick, New York that he named Aladdin. As well as living in New York City, he spent part of his time in Warwick until the mansion was sold in 1884. In 1885 he removed to Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
Cropsey’s home and studio, Ever Rest, in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York as well as the largest permanent collection of Cropsey’s work are open for tours by the Newington-Cropsey Foundation.
Jasper Cropsey died in anonymity but was rediscovered by galleries and collectors in the 1960s. Today, Cropsey’s paintings are found in most major American museums, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Timken Museum of Art in San Diego, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Denver Art Museum, the Princeton University Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Works by Cropsey also hang in the White House.
Cropsey and his wife Maria are buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

fleurdulys:

Jasper Francis CropseyAutumn Lake - 1875

Jasper Francis Cropsey (February 18, 1823 – June 22, 1900) was an important American landscape artist of the Hudson River School.

Cropsey was born on his father Jacob Rezeau Cropsey’s farm in Rossville on Staten Island, New York, the oldest of eight children. As a young boy, Cropsey had recurring periods of poor health. While absent from school, Cropsey taught himself to draw. His early drawings included architectural sketches and landscapes drawn on notepads and in the margins of his schoolbooks.

Trained as an architect, he set up his own office in 1843. Cropsey studied watercolor and life drawing at the National Academy of Design under the instruction of Edward Maury and first exhibited there in 1844. A year later he was elected an associate member and turned exclusively to landscape painting; shortly after he was featured in an exhibition entitled “Italian Compositions”.

Cropsey married Maria Cooley in May 1847, traveled in Europe from 1847–1849, visiting England, France, Switzerland, and Italy. He was elected a full member of the Academy in 1851. Cropsey was a personal friend of Henry Tappan, the president of the University of Michigan from 1852 to 1863. At Tappan’s invitation, he traveled to Ann Arbor in 1855 and produced two paintings, one of the Detroit Observatory, and a landscape of the campus. He went abroad again in 1855, and resided seven years in London, sending his pictures to the Royal Academy and to the International exhibition of 1862.

Returning home, he opened a studio in New York and specialized in autumnal landscape paintings of the northeastern United States, often idealized and with vivid colors. Cropsey co-founded, with ten fellow artists, the American Society of Painters in Water Colors in 1866. In 1869 Cropsey built a 29-room Gothic Revival mansion and studio in Warwick, New York that he named Aladdin. As well as living in New York City, he spent part of his time in Warwick until the mansion was sold in 1884. In 1885 he removed to Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

Cropsey’s home and studio, Ever Rest, in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York as well as the largest permanent collection of Cropsey’s work are open for tours by the Newington-Cropsey Foundation.

Jasper Cropsey died in anonymity but was rediscovered by galleries and collectors in the 1960s. Today, Cropsey’s paintings are found in most major American museums, including the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Timken Museum of Art in San Diego, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Denver Art Museum, the Princeton University Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Works by Cropsey also hang in the White House.

Cropsey and his wife Maria are buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Samuel Colman - Yosemite Valley, California, ca. 1888
Watercolor and pencil on paper, 9 1/2 x 15 inches
Samuel Colman (March 4, 1832 – March 26, 1920) was an American painter, interior designer, and writer, probably best remembered for his paintings of the Hudson River. He  should not be confused with the English painter Samuel Col(e)man (1780–1845).
Born in Portland, Maine, Colman moved to New York City with his family as a child. His father opened a bookstore, attracting a literate clientele that may have influenced Colman’s artistic development. He is believed to have studied briefly under the Hudson River school painter Asher Durand, and he exhibited his first work at the National Academy of Design in 1850. By 1854 he had opened his own New York City studio. The following year he was elected an associate member of the National Academy, with full membership bestowed in 1862.
His landscape paintings in the 1850s and 1860s were influenced by the Hudson River school, an example being Meadows and Wildflowers at Conway (1856) now in the collection of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College. He was also able to paint in a romantic style, which had become more fashionable after the Civil War. One of his best-known works, and one of the iconic images of Hudson River School art, is his Storm King on the Hudson (1866), now in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.
Colman was an inveterate traveler, and many of his works depict scenes from foreign cities and ports. He made his first trip abroad to France and Spain in 1860-1861, and returned for a more extensive four-year European tour in the early 1870s in which he spent much time in Mediterranean locales. Colman often depicted the architectural features he encountered on his travels: cityscapes, castles, bridges, arches, and aqueducts feature prominently in his paintings of foreign scenes. In 1870 and again in the 1880s he journeyed to the western United States, painting western landscapes comparable in scope and style to those of Thomas Moran.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, watercolor painting became more popular. In 1866, Colman was one of the founders of the American Watercolor Society, and he became its first president from 1867 to 1871. Colman also became skilled at the medium of etching. He was an early member of the New York Etching Club, and published popular etchings depicting European scenes.
Colman’s artistic activities became even more diverse late in life. By the 1880s he worked extensively as an interior designer, collaborating with his friend Louis Comfort Tiffany on the design of Samuel Clemens’ Hartford home, and later on the Fifth Avenue home of Henry and Louisine Havemeyer. He also became a major collector of Asian decorative objects, and wrote two books on geometry and art.
Colman died in New York City in 1920.

Samuel Colman - Yosemite Valley, California, ca. 1888

Watercolor and pencil on paper, 9 1/2 x 15 inches

Samuel Colman (March 4, 1832 – March 26, 1920) was an American painter, interior designer, and writer, probably best remembered for his paintings of the Hudson River. He  should not be confused with the English painter Samuel Col(e)man (1780–1845).

Born in Portland, Maine, Colman moved to New York City with his family as a child. His father opened a bookstore, attracting a literate clientele that may have influenced Colman’s artistic development. He is believed to have studied briefly under the Hudson River school painter Asher Durand, and he exhibited his first work at the National Academy of Design in 1850. By 1854 he had opened his own New York City studio. The following year he was elected an associate member of the National Academy, with full membership bestowed in 1862.

His landscape paintings in the 1850s and 1860s were influenced by the Hudson River school, an example being Meadows and Wildflowers at Conway (1856) now in the collection of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College. He was also able to paint in a romantic style, which had become more fashionable after the Civil War. One of his best-known works, and one of the iconic images of Hudson River School art, is his Storm King on the Hudson (1866), now in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.

Colman was an inveterate traveler, and many of his works depict scenes from foreign cities and ports. He made his first trip abroad to France and Spain in 1860-1861, and returned for a more extensive four-year European tour in the early 1870s in which he spent much time in Mediterranean locales. Colman often depicted the architectural features he encountered on his travels: cityscapes, castles, bridges, arches, and aqueducts feature prominently in his paintings of foreign scenes. In 1870 and again in the 1880s he journeyed to the western United States, painting western landscapes comparable in scope and style to those of Thomas Moran.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, watercolor painting became more popular. In 1866, Colman was one of the founders of the American Watercolor Society, and he became its first president from 1867 to 1871. Colman also became skilled at the medium of etching. He was an early member of the New York Etching Club, and published popular etchings depicting European scenes.

Colman’s artistic activities became even more diverse late in life. By the 1880s he worked extensively as an interior designer, collaborating with his friend Louis Comfort Tiffany on the design of Samuel Clemens’ Hartford home, and later on the Fifth Avenue home of Henry and Louisine Havemeyer. He also became a major collector of Asian decorative objects, and wrote two books on geometry and art.

Colman died in New York City in 1920.

cavetocanvas:
John Frederick Kensett, Eaton’s Neck, Long Island - c. 1872
John Frederick Kensett (March 22, 1816 – December 14, 1872) was an American artist and engraver. A member of the second generation of the Hudson River School of artists, Kensett’s signature works are landscape paintings of New England and New York State, whose clear light and serene surfaces celebrate transcendental qualities of nature, and are associated with Luminism. Kensett’s early work owed much to the influence of Thomas Cole, but was from the outset distinguished by a preference for cooler colors and an interest in less dramatic topography, favoring restraint in both palette and composition. The work of Kensett’s maturity features tranquil scenery depicted with a spare geometry, culminating in series of paintings in which coastal promontories are balanced against glass-smooth water. He was a founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Kensett attended school at Cheshire Academy, and studied engraving with his immigrant father, Thomas Kensett, and later with his uncle, Alfred Dagget. He worked as engraver in the New Haven area until about 1838, after which he went to work as a bank note engraver in New York City.
In 1840, along with Asher Durand and John William Casilear, Kensett traveled to Europe in order to study painting. There he met and traveled with Benjamin Champney. The two sketched and painted throughout Europe, refining their talents. During this period, Kensett developed an appreciation and affinity for 17th century Dutch landscape painting. Kensett and Champney returned to the United States in 1847.
After establishing his studio and settling in New York, Kensett traveled extensively throughout the Northeast and the Colorado Rockies as well as making several trips back to Europe.
Kensett is best known for his landscape of upstate New York and New England and seascapes of coastal New Jersey, Long Island and New England. He is most closely associated with the “second generation” of the Hudson River School. Along with Sanford Robinson Gifford, Fitz Henry Lane, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Martin Johnson Heade and others, the works of the “Luminists”, as they came to be known, were characterized by unselfconscious, nearly invisible brushstrokes used to convey the qualities and effects of atmospheric light. Such effects stemmed from Transcendentalist philosophies of sublime nature and contemplation bringing one closer to a spiritual truth. In 1848 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full Academician in 1849.
In 1851 Kensett painted a monumental canvas of Mount Washington that has become an icon of White Mountain art. Mount Washington from the Valley of Conway was purchased by the American Art Union, made into an engraving by James Smillie, and distributed to 13,000 Art Union subscribers throughout the country. Other artists painted copies of this scene from the print. Currier and Ives published a similar print in about 1860. This single painting by Kensett helped to popularize the White Mountain region of New Hampshire.
Kensett’s style evolved gradually, from the traditional Hudson River School manner in the 1850s into the more refined Luminist style in his later years. By the early 1870s Kensett was spending considerable time at his home on Contentment Island, on Long Island Sound near Darien, Connecticut.
It was during this time that Kensett painted some of his finest works. Many of these were spare and luminist seascapes, the prime example being Eaton’s Neck, Long Island (1872) now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The artist was widely acclaimed and financially successful during his lifetime. In turn, he was generous in support of the arts and artists. He was a full member of the National Academy of Design, the founder and president of the Artists’ Fund Society, and a founder and trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Kensett contracted pneumonia (perhaps during the attempted rescue of Mary Lydia (Hancock) Colyer, the wife of his friend and fellow artist Vincent Colyer in Long Island Sound) and died of heart failure at his New York studio in December 1872. In 1874 Kensett’s brother Thomas gave thirty-eight of his paintings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, of which half remain in the collection.
The first complete biography and factual study of Kensett’s work was written by Ellen H. Johnson, published in 1957.

cavetocanvas:

John Frederick Kensett, Eaton’s Neck, Long Island - c. 1872

John Frederick Kensett (March 22, 1816 – December 14, 1872) was an American artist and engraver. A member of the second generation of the Hudson River School of artists, Kensett’s signature works are landscape paintings of New England and New York State, whose clear light and serene surfaces celebrate transcendental qualities of nature, and are associated with Luminism. Kensett’s early work owed much to the influence of Thomas Cole, but was from the outset distinguished by a preference for cooler colors and an interest in less dramatic topography, favoring restraint in both palette and composition. The work of Kensett’s maturity features tranquil scenery depicted with a spare geometry, culminating in series of paintings in which coastal promontories are balanced against glass-smooth water. He was a founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kensett attended school at Cheshire Academy, and studied engraving with his immigrant father, Thomas Kensett, and later with his uncle, Alfred Dagget. He worked as engraver in the New Haven area until about 1838, after which he went to work as a bank note engraver in New York City.

In 1840, along with Asher Durand and John William Casilear, Kensett traveled to Europe in order to study painting. There he met and traveled with Benjamin Champney. The two sketched and painted throughout Europe, refining their talents. During this period, Kensett developed an appreciation and affinity for 17th century Dutch landscape painting. Kensett and Champney returned to the United States in 1847.

After establishing his studio and settling in New York, Kensett traveled extensively throughout the Northeast and the Colorado Rockies as well as making several trips back to Europe.

Kensett is best known for his landscape of upstate New York and New England and seascapes of coastal New Jersey, Long Island and New England. He is most closely associated with the “second generation” of the Hudson River School. Along with Sanford Robinson Gifford, Fitz Henry Lane, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Martin Johnson Heade and others, the works of the “Luminists”, as they came to be known, were characterized by unselfconscious, nearly invisible brushstrokes used to convey the qualities and effects of atmospheric light. Such effects stemmed from Transcendentalist philosophies of sublime nature and contemplation bringing one closer to a spiritual truth. In 1848 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full Academician in 1849.

In 1851 Kensett painted a monumental canvas of Mount Washington that has become an icon of White Mountain art. Mount Washington from the Valley of Conway was purchased by the American Art Union, made into an engraving by James Smillie, and distributed to 13,000 Art Union subscribers throughout the country. Other artists painted copies of this scene from the print. Currier and Ives published a similar print in about 1860. This single painting by Kensett helped to popularize the White Mountain region of New Hampshire.

Kensett’s style evolved gradually, from the traditional Hudson River School manner in the 1850s into the more refined Luminist style in his later years. By the early 1870s Kensett was spending considerable time at his home on Contentment Island, on Long Island Sound near Darien, Connecticut.

It was during this time that Kensett painted some of his finest works. Many of these were spare and luminist seascapes, the prime example being Eaton’s Neck, Long Island (1872) now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The artist was widely acclaimed and financially successful during his lifetime. In turn, he was generous in support of the arts and artists. He was a full member of the National Academy of Design, the founder and president of the Artists’ Fund Society, and a founder and trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kensett contracted pneumonia (perhaps during the attempted rescue of Mary Lydia (Hancock) Colyer, the wife of his friend and fellow artist Vincent Colyer in Long Island Sound) and died of heart failure at his New York studio in December 1872. In 1874 Kensett’s brother Thomas gave thirty-eight of his paintings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, of which half remain in the collection.

The first complete biography and factual study of Kensett’s work was written by Ellen H. Johnson, published in 1957.

cavetocanvas:

Frederic Edwin Church, The Natural Bridge, Virginia, 1852

Frederic Edwin Church (May 4, 1826 – April 7, 1900) was an American landscape painter born in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a central figure in the Hudson River School of American landscape painters. While committed to the natural sciences, he was “always concerned with including a spiritual dimension in his works.”
Church was the son of Eliza (née Janes) and Joseph Church. The family’s wealth came from Church’s father, a silversmith and watchmaker in Hartford, Connecticut. (Joseph subsequently also became an official and a director of The Aetna Life Insurance Company.) Joseph, in turn, was the son of Samuel Church, who founded the first paper mill in Lee, Massachusetts in the Berkshires. The family’s wealth allowed Frederic Church to pursue his interest in art from a very early age. At eighteen years of age, Church became the pupil of Thomas Cole in Catskill, New York after Daniel Wadsworth, a family neighbor and founder of the Wadsworth Athenaeum, introduced the two. In May 1849, Church was elected as the youngest Associate of the National Academy of Design and was promoted to Academician the following year. Soon after, he sold his first major work to Hartford’s Wadsworth Athenaeum.
Church was the product of the second generation of the Hudson River School and the only pupil of Thomas Cole, the school’s founder. The Hudson River School was established by the British Thomas Cole when he moved to America and started painting landscapes, mostly of mountains and other traditional American scenes. Cole, along with his friend Asher Durand, started this school in New York; it was the first well-acknowledged American artistic movement. The paintings were characterized by their focus on traditional American pastoral settings, especially the Catskill Mountains, and their romantic qualities. This style attempted to capture the wild realism of an unsettled America that was quickly disappearing, and the feelings of discovery and appreciation for natural beauty. His American frontier landscapes show “ expansionist and optimistic outlook of the United States in the mid-nineteenth century.” Church did differ from Cole in the topics of his paintings: he preferred natural and often majestic scenes over Cole’s propensity towards allegory.
Church, like most second generation Hudson River School painters, used extraordinary detail, romanticism, and luminism in his paintings. Romanticism was prominent in Britain and France in the early 1800s as a counter-movement to the Enlightenment virtues of order and logic. Artists wanted to idealize pastoral scenes that exhibited the wild and free beauty of nature. This tradition carries on in the works of Frederic Church, who idealizes an uninterrupted nature, highlighted by creating excruciatingly detailed art. The emphasis on nature is encouraged by the lack of people, low horizontal lines, and preponderance of sky to enhance the wilderness. The technical skill comes in the form of luminism, a Hudson River School innovation particularly present in Church’s works. Luminism is also cited as encompassing several technical aspects, which can be seen in Church’s works. One example is the attempt to “hide brushstrokes,” which makes the scene seem more realistic and lessen the artist’s presence in the work. Most importantly is the emphasis on light (hence luminism) in these scenes. The several sources of light create contrast in the pictures that highlights the beauty and detailed imagery in the painting.
Church began his career by painting classic Hudson River School scenes of New York and New England, but by 1850, he had settled in New York. Church’s method consisted of creating paintings in his studio (in the cold, barren months of the year) based on sketches (some in oil) created of views in the Summer months. In these earlier years of his career, Church’s style was incredibly reminiscent of that of his teacher, Thomas Cole, and epitomized the Hudson River School’s founding styles. Church’s work was immediately divergent from Cole’s focus on ethereal, almost mythological, scenes, but his early work did resemble Cole’s tone. Church focused on scenes composed of rich reds, purples, and oranges to give depth to his work and emphasize the richness and fantasy of the scenery.
Church took two trips to South America, and stayed predominantly in Quito, Ecuador, the first in 1853 and the second in 1857. One trip was financed by businessman Cyrus West Field, who wished to use Church’s paintings to lure investors to his South American ventures. Church was inspired by the Prussian polymath geographer Alexander von Humboldt’s Cosmos (about “the Earth, matter, and space”) and his exploration of the continent in the early 1800s; Humboldt had challenged artists to portray the “physiognomy” of the Andes. After Humboldt’s Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America was published in 1852, Church jumped at the chance to travel and study in his icon’s footsteps (literally, as he stayed in Humboldt’s old house) in Quito, Ecuador. When Church returned in 1857 he added to his landscape paintings of the area. After both trips, Church had produced four landscapes of Ecuador:The Andes of Ecuador (1855), Cayambe (1858), The Heart of the Andes (1859), and Cotopaxi (1862). It was the Heart of the Andes that won Church fame when it debuted in 1859. The painting pictures several elements of Quito’s nature combined into an idealistic portrait of a jungle scene. Despite having clear perspective and foreshortening, Church keeps every detail (even those of the mountains in the back) in crystal clear detail. In addition, The Heart of The Andes is also a documentation, a scientific study of every natural feature that exists in that area of the Andes. Every species of plant and animal is readily identifiable; even climatic zonation by altitude is delineated precisely.
In this way, Church pays a unique tribute to Humboldt (who inspired his journey) as well as maintains his Hudson River School roots. “Therefore instead of the fiery crimsons and oranges of his emotional crepuscular scenes, the palette here is comparatively restrained by Church’s standards: quiet greens, blues, browns, ochres and subdued grayish purples of sky, stone, verdure and water in full, even daylight.” It was in 1859 that Church finally showed The Heart of the Andes in New York City. Church had set up the exhibit like a house, with the painting playing the part of a window looking out over the Andes. He completed the look with Ecuadorian plants from his travels and a frame and curtains which the audience (sitting on benches) looked through to enhance the effect. Church unveiled the painting to an astonished public in New York City in 1859. The painting’s frame had drawn curtains fitted to it, creating the illusion of a view out of a window. The audience sat on benches to view the piece and Church strategically darkened the room, but spotlighted the landscape painting. Church also brought plants from a past trip to South America to heighten the viewers’ experience. The public were charged admission and provided with opera glasses to examine the painting’s details. The work was an instant success. Church eventually sold it for $10,000, at that time the highest price ever paid for a work by a living American artist.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City exhibited The Heart of the Andes in its original frame in 1995-96, together with a number of the supporting studies that Church made on his epic Andean journey. It was clear to the observer that this giant “engine” of a painting was the 19th century equivalent of a PBS special on the natural world.
Americans soon began to consider Church the “Michelangelo of Landscape Art” and he became one of the most renowned American artists. Part of Church’s appeal was the fact that he had resisted the American artist “norm” of the day by refusing to go to Europe, as most artists did to train, instead focusing his efforts and talents on South America. This was in part due to Humboldt’s influence, but was also a conscious decision on Church’s part to gain notoriety. In addition, one of Church’s most extraordinary accomplishments was his commercial success. Church’s art was extremely lucrative, he was reported to be worth approximately half-a-million dollars at his death, about 12.5 million dollars today. Americans were enamored with Church’s all-American appeal and brilliant body of work. Church exhibited his art at the American Art Union, the Boston Art Club, and (most impressively for a young artist) the National Academy of Design. He joined his contemporaries in the Hudson River School: Thomas Cole, Asher Brown Durand, John F. Kensett, and Jasper F. Cropsey.
In 1860, Church bought a farm in Hudson, New York and married Isabel Carnes. Both Church’s first son and daughter died in March 1865 of diphtheria, but he and his wife started a new family with the birth of Frederic Joseph in 1866. When he and his wife had a family of four children, they began to travel together. In 1867, they visited Europe and the Middle East, allowing Church to return to painting larger works.
Before leaving on that trip, Church purchased the eighteen acres (73,000 m²) on the hilltop above his Hudson farmland he had long wanted because of its magnificent views of the Hudson River and the Catskills. In 1870, he began the construction of a Persian-inspired mansion on the hilltop and the family moved into the home in the summer of 1872. Richard Morris Hunt was the architect for Cosy Cottage at Olana, and was consulted early on in the plans for the mansion, but after the Church’s trip to Europe and what is now Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, the English architect Calvert Vaux was hired to complete the project. Church was deeply involved in the process, even completing his own architectural sketches for its design. This highly personal and eclectic castle incorporated many of the design ideas that he had acquired during his travels.
Illness affected Church’s output. Although he was enormously successful as an artist, by 1876, Church was stricken with rheumatoid arthritis which greatly reduced his ability to paint. He eventually painted with his left hand and continued to produce his work, although at a much slower pace. He devoted much of his energies during the final 20 years of his life to his house at Olana. Church died on April 7, 1900. He is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, Hartford, Connecticut.

cavetocanvas:

Frederic Edwin Church, The Natural Bridge, Virginia, 1852

Frederic Edwin Church (May 4, 1826 – April 7, 1900) was an American landscape painter born in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a central figure in the Hudson River School of American landscape painters. While committed to the natural sciences, he was “always concerned with including a spiritual dimension in his works.”

Church was the son of Eliza (née Janes) and Joseph Church. The family’s wealth came from Church’s father, a silversmith and watchmaker in Hartford, Connecticut. (Joseph subsequently also became an official and a director of The Aetna Life Insurance Company.) Joseph, in turn, was the son of Samuel Church, who founded the first paper mill in Lee, Massachusetts in the Berkshires. The family’s wealth allowed Frederic Church to pursue his interest in art from a very early age. At eighteen years of age, Church became the pupil of Thomas Cole in Catskill, New York after Daniel Wadsworth, a family neighbor and founder of the Wadsworth Athenaeum, introduced the two. In May 1849, Church was elected as the youngest Associate of the National Academy of Design and was promoted to Academician the following year. Soon after, he sold his first major work to Hartford’s Wadsworth Athenaeum.

Church was the product of the second generation of the Hudson River School and the only pupil of Thomas Cole, the school’s founder. The Hudson River School was established by the British Thomas Cole when he moved to America and started painting landscapes, mostly of mountains and other traditional American scenes. Cole, along with his friend Asher Durand, started this school in New York; it was the first well-acknowledged American artistic movement. The paintings were characterized by their focus on traditional American pastoral settings, especially the Catskill Mountains, and their romantic qualities. This style attempted to capture the wild realism of an unsettled America that was quickly disappearing, and the feelings of discovery and appreciation for natural beauty. His American frontier landscapes show “ expansionist and optimistic outlook of the United States in the mid-nineteenth century.” Church did differ from Cole in the topics of his paintings: he preferred natural and often majestic scenes over Cole’s propensity towards allegory.

Church, like most second generation Hudson River School painters, used extraordinary detail, romanticism, and luminism in his paintings. Romanticism was prominent in Britain and France in the early 1800s as a counter-movement to the Enlightenment virtues of order and logic. Artists wanted to idealize pastoral scenes that exhibited the wild and free beauty of nature. This tradition carries on in the works of Frederic Church, who idealizes an uninterrupted nature, highlighted by creating excruciatingly detailed art. The emphasis on nature is encouraged by the lack of people, low horizontal lines, and preponderance of sky to enhance the wilderness. The technical skill comes in the form of luminism, a Hudson River School innovation particularly present in Church’s works. Luminism is also cited as encompassing several technical aspects, which can be seen in Church’s works. One example is the attempt to “hide brushstrokes,” which makes the scene seem more realistic and lessen the artist’s presence in the work. Most importantly is the emphasis on light (hence luminism) in these scenes. The several sources of light create contrast in the pictures that highlights the beauty and detailed imagery in the painting.

Church began his career by painting classic Hudson River School scenes of New York and New England, but by 1850, he had settled in New York. Church’s method consisted of creating paintings in his studio (in the cold, barren months of the year) based on sketches (some in oil) created of views in the Summer months. In these earlier years of his career, Church’s style was incredibly reminiscent of that of his teacher, Thomas Cole, and epitomized the Hudson River School’s founding styles. Church’s work was immediately divergent from Cole’s focus on ethereal, almost mythological, scenes, but his early work did resemble Cole’s tone. Church focused on scenes composed of rich reds, purples, and oranges to give depth to his work and emphasize the richness and fantasy of the scenery.

Church took two trips to South America, and stayed predominantly in Quito, Ecuador, the first in 1853 and the second in 1857. One trip was financed by businessman Cyrus West Field, who wished to use Church’s paintings to lure investors to his South American ventures. Church was inspired by the Prussian polymath geographer Alexander von Humboldt’s Cosmos (about “the Earth, matter, and space”) and his exploration of the continent in the early 1800s; Humboldt had challenged artists to portray the “physiognomy” of the Andes. After Humboldt’s Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America was published in 1852, Church jumped at the chance to travel and study in his icon’s footsteps (literally, as he stayed in Humboldt’s old house) in Quito, Ecuador. When Church returned in 1857 he added to his landscape paintings of the area. After both trips, Church had produced four landscapes of Ecuador:The Andes of Ecuador (1855), Cayambe (1858), The Heart of the Andes (1859), and Cotopaxi (1862). It was the Heart of the Andes that won Church fame when it debuted in 1859. The painting pictures several elements of Quito’s nature combined into an idealistic portrait of a jungle scene. Despite having clear perspective and foreshortening, Church keeps every detail (even those of the mountains in the back) in crystal clear detail. In addition, The Heart of The Andes is also a documentation, a scientific study of every natural feature that exists in that area of the Andes. Every species of plant and animal is readily identifiable; even climatic zonation by altitude is delineated precisely.

In this way, Church pays a unique tribute to Humboldt (who inspired his journey) as well as maintains his Hudson River School roots. “Therefore instead of the fiery crimsons and oranges of his emotional crepuscular scenes, the palette here is comparatively restrained by Church’s standards: quiet greens, blues, browns, ochres and subdued grayish purples of sky, stone, verdure and water in full, even daylight.” It was in 1859 that Church finally showed The Heart of the Andes in New York City. Church had set up the exhibit like a house, with the painting playing the part of a window looking out over the Andes. He completed the look with Ecuadorian plants from his travels and a frame and curtains which the audience (sitting on benches) looked through to enhance the effect. Church unveiled the painting to an astonished public in New York City in 1859. The painting’s frame had drawn curtains fitted to it, creating the illusion of a view out of a window. The audience sat on benches to view the piece and Church strategically darkened the room, but spotlighted the landscape painting. Church also brought plants from a past trip to South America to heighten the viewers’ experience. The public were charged admission and provided with opera glasses to examine the painting’s details. The work was an instant success. Church eventually sold it for $10,000, at that time the highest price ever paid for a work by a living American artist.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City exhibited The Heart of the Andes in its original frame in 1995-96, together with a number of the supporting studies that Church made on his epic Andean journey. It was clear to the observer that this giant “engine” of a painting was the 19th century equivalent of a PBS special on the natural world.

Americans soon began to consider Church the “Michelangelo of Landscape Art” and he became one of the most renowned American artists. Part of Church’s appeal was the fact that he had resisted the American artist “norm” of the day by refusing to go to Europe, as most artists did to train, instead focusing his efforts and talents on South America. This was in part due to Humboldt’s influence, but was also a conscious decision on Church’s part to gain notoriety. In addition, one of Church’s most extraordinary accomplishments was his commercial success. Church’s art was extremely lucrative, he was reported to be worth approximately half-a-million dollars at his death, about 12.5 million dollars today. Americans were enamored with Church’s all-American appeal and brilliant body of work. Church exhibited his art at the American Art Union, the Boston Art Club, and (most impressively for a young artist) the National Academy of Design. He joined his contemporaries in the Hudson River School: Thomas Cole, Asher Brown Durand, John F. Kensett, and Jasper F. Cropsey.

In 1860, Church bought a farm in Hudson, New York and married Isabel Carnes. Both Church’s first son and daughter died in March 1865 of diphtheria, but he and his wife started a new family with the birth of Frederic Joseph in 1866. When he and his wife had a family of four children, they began to travel together. In 1867, they visited Europe and the Middle East, allowing Church to return to painting larger works.

Before leaving on that trip, Church purchased the eighteen acres (73,000 m²) on the hilltop above his Hudson farmland he had long wanted because of its magnificent views of the Hudson River and the Catskills. In 1870, he began the construction of a Persian-inspired mansion on the hilltop and the family moved into the home in the summer of 1872. Richard Morris Hunt was the architect for Cosy Cottage at Olana, and was consulted early on in the plans for the mansion, but after the Church’s trip to Europe and what is now Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, the English architect Calvert Vaux was hired to complete the project. Church was deeply involved in the process, even completing his own architectural sketches for its design. This highly personal and eclectic castle incorporated many of the design ideas that he had acquired during his travels.

Illness affected Church’s output. Although he was enormously successful as an artist, by 1876, Church was stricken with rheumatoid arthritis which greatly reduced his ability to paint. He eventually painted with his left hand and continued to produce his work, although at a much slower pace. He devoted much of his energies during the final 20 years of his life to his house at Olana. Church died on April 7, 1900. He is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, Hartford, Connecticut.

spijkerschrift:

Asher Brown Durand (August 21, 1796 – September 17, 1886) was an American painter of the Hudson River School.

Durand was born in and eventually died in Maplewood, New Jersey (then called Jefferson Village), the eighth of eleven children; his father was a watchmaker and a silversmith.
Durand was apprenticed to an engraver from 1812 to 1817 and later entered into a partnership with the owner of the firm, who asked him to run the firm’s New York branch. He engraved Declaration of Independence for John Trumbull in 1823, which established Durand’s reputation as one of the country’s finest engravers. Durand helped organize the New York Drawing Association in 1825, which would become the National Academy of Design; he would serve the organization as president from 1845 to 1861.
His interest shifted from engraving to oil painting around 1830 with the encouragement of his patron, Luman Reed. In 1837, he accompanied his friend Thomas Cole on a sketching expedition to Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks and soon after he began to concentrate on landscape painting. He spent summers sketching in the Catskills, Adirondacks, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, making hundreds of drawings and oil sketches that were later incorporated into finished academy pieces which helped to define the Hudson River School.
Durand is particularly remembered for his detailed portrayals of trees, rocks, and foliage. He was an advocate for drawing directly from nature with as much realism as possible. Durand wrote, “Let [the artist] scrupulously accept whatever [nature] presents him until he shall, in a degree, have become intimate with her infinity…never let him profane her sacredness by a willful departure from truth.”
Like other Hudson River School artists, Durand also believed that nature was an ineffable manifestation of God. He expressed this sentiment and his general views on art in his “Letters on Landscape Painting” in The Crayon, a mid-19th century New York art periodical. Wrote Durand, “[T]he true province of Landscape Art is the representation of the work of God in the visible creation…”
Durand is noted for his 1849 painting Kindred Spirits which shows fellow Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole and poet William Cullen Bryant in a Catskills landscape. This was painted as a tribute to Cole upon his death in 1848. The painting, donated by Bryant’s daughter Julia to the New York Public Library in 1904, was sold by the library through Sotheby’s at an auction in May 2005 to Alice Walton for a purported $35 million. The sale was conducted as a sealed, first bid auction, so the actual sales price is not known. At $35 million, however, it would be a record price paid for an American painting at the time.
Another of Durand’s painting is his 1853 Progress, commissioned by a railroad executive. The landscape depicts America’s progress, from a state of nature (on the left, where Native Americans look on), towards the right, where there are roads, telegraph wires, a canal, warehouses, railroads, and steamboats.
In 2007, the Brooklyn Museum exhibited nearly sixty of Durand’s works in the first monographic exhibition devoted to the painter in more than thirty-five years. The show, entitled “Kindred Spirits: Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape,” was on view from March 30 to July 29, 2007.

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Asher Brown Durand (August 21, 1796 – September 17, 1886) was an American painter of the Hudson River School.

Durand was born in and eventually died in Maplewood, New Jersey (then called Jefferson Village), the eighth of eleven children; his father was a watchmaker and a silversmith.

Durand was apprenticed to an engraver from 1812 to 1817 and later entered into a partnership with the owner of the firm, who asked him to run the firm’s New York branch. He engraved Declaration of Independence for John Trumbull in 1823, which established Durand’s reputation as one of the country’s finest engravers. Durand helped organize the New York Drawing Association in 1825, which would become the National Academy of Design; he would serve the organization as president from 1845 to 1861.

His interest shifted from engraving to oil painting around 1830 with the encouragement of his patron, Luman Reed. In 1837, he accompanied his friend Thomas Cole on a sketching expedition to Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks and soon after he began to concentrate on landscape painting. He spent summers sketching in the Catskills, Adirondacks, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, making hundreds of drawings and oil sketches that were later incorporated into finished academy pieces which helped to define the Hudson River School.

Durand is particularly remembered for his detailed portrayals of trees, rocks, and foliage. He was an advocate for drawing directly from nature with as much realism as possible. Durand wrote, “Let [the artist] scrupulously accept whatever [nature] presents him until he shall, in a degree, have become intimate with her infinity…never let him profane her sacredness by a willful departure from truth.”

Like other Hudson River School artists, Durand also believed that nature was an ineffable manifestation of God. He expressed this sentiment and his general views on art in his “Letters on Landscape Painting” in The Crayon, a mid-19th century New York art periodical. Wrote Durand, “[T]he true province of Landscape Art is the representation of the work of God in the visible creation…”

Durand is noted for his 1849 painting Kindred Spirits which shows fellow Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole and poet William Cullen Bryant in a Catskills landscape. This was painted as a tribute to Cole upon his death in 1848. The painting, donated by Bryant’s daughter Julia to the New York Public Library in 1904, was sold by the library through Sotheby’s at an auction in May 2005 to Alice Walton for a purported $35 million. The sale was conducted as a sealed, first bid auction, so the actual sales price is not known. At $35 million, however, it would be a record price paid for an American painting at the time.

Another of Durand’s painting is his 1853 Progress, commissioned by a railroad executive. The landscape depicts America’s progress, from a state of nature (on the left, where Native Americans look on), towards the right, where there are roads, telegraph wires, a canal, warehouses, railroads, and steamboats.

In 2007, the Brooklyn Museum exhibited nearly sixty of Durand’s works in the first monographic exhibition devoted to the painter in more than thirty-five years. The show, entitled “Kindred Spirits: Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape,” was on view from March 30 to July 29, 2007.