The Paintrist Files
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.

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.

Asher B. Durand - Portrait of Thomas Cole - 1837
Asher Brown Durand (August 21, 1796 – September 17, 1886) was an American painter of the Hudson River School.
Thomas Cole (February 1, 1801 – February 11, 1848) was an American artist. He is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, an American art movement that flourished in the mid-19th century. Cole’s Hudson River School, as well as his own work, was known for its realistic and detailed portrayal of American landscape and wilderness, which feature themes of romanticism.
He was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, in 1801. In 1818 his family emigrated to the United States, settling in Steubenville, Ohio, where Cole learned the rudiments of his profession from a wandering portrait painter named Stein. However, he had little success painting portraits, and his interest shifted to landscape. Moving to Pittsburgh in 1823 and then to Philadelphia in 1824, where he drew from casts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, he rejoined his parents and sister in New York City early in 1825. In 1826, he helped found the National Academy of Design.
In New York Cole sold five paintings to George W. Bruen, who financed a summer trip to the Hudson Valley where the artist produced two Views of Coldspring, the Catskill Mountain House and painted famous Kaaterskill Falls and the ruins of Fort Putnam. Returning to New York, he displayed five landscapes in the window of William Coleman’s bookstore; according to the New York Evening Post Two Views of Coldspring were purchased by Mr. A. Seton, who lent them to the American Academy of the Fine Arts annual exhibition in 1826. This garnered Cole the attention of John Trumbull, Asher B. Durand, and William Dunlap. Among the paintings was a landscape called “View of Fort Ticonderoga from Gelyna”. Trumbull was especially impressed with the work of the young artist and sought him out, bought one of his paintings, and put him into contact with a number of his wealthy friends including Robert Gilmor of Baltimore and Daniel Wadsworth of Hartford, who became important patrons of the artist.
Cole was primarily a painter of landscapes, but he also painted allegorical works. The most famous of these are the five-part series, The Course of Empire, which depict the same landscape over generations—from a near state of nature to consummation of empire, and then decline and desolation—now in the collection of the New York Historical Society and the four-part The Voyage of Life. There are two versions of the latter, one at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the other at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York. Among Cole’s other famous works are the Oxbow (1836) (pictured below), the Notch of the White Mountains, Daniel Boone at His cabin at the Great Osage Lake, and Lake with Dead Trees (1825) which is at the Allen Memorial Art Museum. He also painted The Garden of Eden (1828), with lavish detail of Adam and Eve living amid waterfalls, vivid plants, and deer.
Cole influenced his artistic peers, especially Asher B. Durand and Frederic Edwin Church, who studied with Cole from 1844 to 1846. Cole spent the years 1829 to 1832 and 1841 to 1842 abroad, mainly in England and Italy.
Thomas Cole is best known for his work as an American landscape artist. However, Cole also produced thousands of sketches of varying subject matter. Over 2,500 of these sketches can be seen at The Detroit Institute of Arts.
In 1842, Cole embarked on a Grand Tour of Europe in an effort to study in the style of the Old Masters and to paint its scenery. Most striking to Cole was Europe’s tallest active volcano, Mount Etna (Regarding the title: “Etna” is the more common spelling in the present day, but “Aetna” was a common nineteenth-century variant). Cole was so moved by the volcano’s beauty that he produced several sketches and at least six paintings of it. The most famous of these works is A View from Mount Etna from Taormina which is a 78 in. x 120 in. oil on canvas. Cole also produced a highly detailed sketch of it, entitled View of Mount Etna (pictured below) which shows a panoramic view of the volcano with the crumbling walls of the ancient Greek theatre of Taormina on the far right.
After 1827 Cole maintained a studio at the farm called Cedar Grove in the town of Catskill, New York. He painted a significant portion of his work in this studio. In 1836 he married Maria Bartow of Catskill, a niece of the owner, and became a year-round resident. Thomas and Maria had five children.
Thomas Cole died at Catskill on February 11, 1848. The fourth highest peak in the Catskills is named Thomas Cole Mountain in his honor. Cedar Grove, also known as the Thomas Cole House, was declared a National Historic Site in 1999 and is now open to the public.

Asher B. Durand - Portrait of Thomas Cole - 1837

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

Thomas Cole (February 1, 1801 – February 11, 1848) was an American artist. He is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, an American art movement that flourished in the mid-19th century. Cole’s Hudson River School, as well as his own work, was known for its realistic and detailed portrayal of American landscape and wilderness, which feature themes of romanticism.

He was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, in 1801. In 1818 his family emigrated to the United States, settling in Steubenville, Ohio, where Cole learned the rudiments of his profession from a wandering portrait painter named Stein. However, he had little success painting portraits, and his interest shifted to landscape. Moving to Pittsburgh in 1823 and then to Philadelphia in 1824, where he drew from casts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, he rejoined his parents and sister in New York City early in 1825. In 1826, he helped found the National Academy of Design.

In New York Cole sold five paintings to George W. Bruen, who financed a summer trip to the Hudson Valley where the artist produced two Views of Coldspring, the Catskill Mountain House and painted famous Kaaterskill Falls and the ruins of Fort Putnam. Returning to New York, he displayed five landscapes in the window of William Coleman’s bookstore; according to the New York Evening Post Two Views of Coldspring were purchased by Mr. A. Seton, who lent them to the American Academy of the Fine Arts annual exhibition in 1826. This garnered Cole the attention of John Trumbull, Asher B. Durand, and William Dunlap. Among the paintings was a landscape called “View of Fort Ticonderoga from Gelyna”. Trumbull was especially impressed with the work of the young artist and sought him out, bought one of his paintings, and put him into contact with a number of his wealthy friends including Robert Gilmor of Baltimore and Daniel Wadsworth of Hartford, who became important patrons of the artist.

Cole was primarily a painter of landscapes, but he also painted allegorical works. The most famous of these are the five-part series, The Course of Empire, which depict the same landscape over generations—from a near state of nature to consummation of empire, and then decline and desolation—now in the collection of the New York Historical Society and the four-part The Voyage of Life. There are two versions of the latter, one at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the other at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York. Among Cole’s other famous works are the Oxbow (1836) (pictured below), the Notch of the White Mountains, Daniel Boone at His cabin at the Great Osage Lake, and Lake with Dead Trees (1825) which is at the Allen Memorial Art Museum. He also painted The Garden of Eden (1828), with lavish detail of Adam and Eve living amid waterfalls, vivid plants, and deer.

Cole influenced his artistic peers, especially Asher B. Durand and Frederic Edwin Church, who studied with Cole from 1844 to 1846. Cole spent the years 1829 to 1832 and 1841 to 1842 abroad, mainly in England and Italy.

Thomas Cole is best known for his work as an American landscape artist. However, Cole also produced thousands of sketches of varying subject matter. Over 2,500 of these sketches can be seen at The Detroit Institute of Arts.

In 1842, Cole embarked on a Grand Tour of Europe in an effort to study in the style of the Old Masters and to paint its scenery. Most striking to Cole was Europe’s tallest active volcano, Mount Etna (Regarding the title: “Etna” is the more common spelling in the present day, but “Aetna” was a common nineteenth-century variant). Cole was so moved by the volcano’s beauty that he produced several sketches and at least six paintings of it. The most famous of these works is A View from Mount Etna from Taormina which is a 78 in. x 120 in. oil on canvas. Cole also produced a highly detailed sketch of it, entitled View of Mount Etna (pictured below) which shows a panoramic view of the volcano with the crumbling walls of the ancient Greek theatre of Taormina on the far right.

After 1827 Cole maintained a studio at the farm called Cedar Grove in the town of Catskill, New York. He painted a significant portion of his work in this studio. In 1836 he married Maria Bartow of Catskill, a niece of the owner, and became a year-round resident. Thomas and Maria had five children.

Thomas Cole died at Catskill on February 11, 1848. The fourth highest peak in the Catskills is named Thomas Cole Mountain in his honor. Cedar Grove, also known as the Thomas Cole House, was declared a National Historic Site in 1999 and is now open to the public.

suum-cuique-tribuere:

Régis François Gignoux (1816–1882) was a French painter who was active in the United States from 1840 to 1870.

Top to bottom:

View Near Elizabethtown. 1847. Oil.

Lake George. Circa 1868. Oil.

First Snow Along the Hudson River. 1859. Oil.

Mid-Winter Moonlight. Circa 1860. Oil.

View, Dismal Swamp, North Carolina. 1850. Oil.

Régis François Gignoux (1816–1882) was a French painter who was active in the United States from 1840 to 1870. (Aliases: Marie-François-Régis Gignoux; Régis Francois Gignoux; Régis François Gignoux; Régis-François Gignoux) He was born in Lyon, France and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under the French historical painter Hippolyte Delaroche, who inspired Gignoux to turn his talents toward landscape painting.

Gignoux arrived in the United States from France in 1840 and eventually opened a studio in Brooklyn, New York. He was a member of the National Academy of Design, and was the first president of the Brooklyn Art Academy. George Inness, John LaFarge (1835–1910), and Charles Dormon Robinson[3] were his students. By 1844, Gignoux had opened a studio in New York City and became one the first artists to join the famous Tenth Street Studio, where other members included Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Church, Jasper Francis Cropsey, and John Frederick Kensett. He returned to France in 1870 and died in Paris in 1882.

Gignoux is best known for his meticulous renderings of Northeast American landscapes, and was the only member of the Hudson River School to specialize in snow scenes. The Brooklyn Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), the Georgia Museum of Art (University of Georgia, Athens), the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, Georgia), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Hood Museum of Art (Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire), the Museum of Art at Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, Missouri), the New York Historical Society (New York City), the Parrish Art Museum (Southampton, New York), the Smith College Museum of Art (Northampton, Massachusetts), the United States Capitol Art Collection (Washington, D. C.), the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore, Maryland), the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, New York), and the Watson Gallery (Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts) are among the public collections holding work by Régis François Gignoux.

"A dramatic, newly restored 1843 painting of the interior of Mammoth Cave by Marie-Francois-Regis Gignoux has been restored as part of the conservation program for the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture at the New-York Historical Society opening in November [2000]. …In his dramatically lit interior view of Mammoth Cave, Gignoux looks from deep in the cave across the so-called "Rotunda" toward the entrance, which is illuminated by an almost mystical light from the outside. From the War of 1812 onward nitre (lime nitrate) used in making saltpeter, one of the essential elements for gunpowder, was mined and prepared from bat guano in the Rotunda. …"  Currently, Mammoth Cave is touring as part of the The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision organized by the New-York Historical Society.

klimt-artwork:

John R. Grabach - The Fifth Year (1934)

John R. Grabach (1886 - 1981)was an active member of the New Jersey art community during the twentieth century, and experienced great success as an artist, teacher, and author. He demonstrated an early interest in art while growing up in Newark, New Jersey, and became a member of the Newark Sketch Club as a teenager. His artistic training continued at the Art Students League in New York, where he studied under George Bridgman, Frank Vincent Dumond, and Kenyon Cox.
During the 1920s, urban life in New York and Newark provided an endless source of inspiration for the artist; his earliest works were powerful, Ashcan-style scenes that demonstrated an impressive ability to transform ordinary events into captivating scenes of American life. After the stock market crashed in 1929, Grabach’s approach shifted away from the vibrant, colorful depictions of bustling city life and began to reflect the realities of the Great Depression.
From the 1920s through the 1960s, his work was included in many important exhibitions, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Institute, National Academy of Design, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1980, the Smithsonian American Art Museum honored his successful career with a solo retrospective show of his work. Today, pieces from his oeuvre are included in the permanent collections of prestigious museums and institutions that include The Art Institute of Chicago, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Newark Museum, Norton Museum of Art, and Smithsonian American Art Museum.

klimt-artwork:

John R. Grabach - The Fifth Year (1934)

John R. Grabach (1886 - 1981)was an active member of the New Jersey art community during the twentieth century, and experienced great success as an artist, teacher, and author. He demonstrated an early interest in art while growing up in Newark, New Jersey, and became a member of the Newark Sketch Club as a teenager. His artistic training continued at the Art Students League in New York, where he studied under George Bridgman, Frank Vincent Dumond, and Kenyon Cox.

During the 1920s, urban life in New York and Newark provided an endless source of inspiration for the artist; his earliest works were powerful, Ashcan-style scenes that demonstrated an impressive ability to transform ordinary events into captivating scenes of American life. After the stock market crashed in 1929, Grabach’s approach shifted away from the vibrant, colorful depictions of bustling city life and began to reflect the realities of the Great Depression.

From the 1920s through the 1960s, his work was included in many important exhibitions, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Institute, National Academy of Design, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1980, the Smithsonian American Art Museum honored his successful career with a solo retrospective show of his work. Today, pieces from his oeuvre are included in the permanent collections of prestigious museums and institutions that include The Art Institute of Chicago, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Newark Museum, Norton Museum of Art, and Smithsonian American Art Museum.

artishardgr:

George Inness - Landscape Study 1876 HD

George Inness (May 1, 1825 – August 3, 1894) was an influential American landscape painter. His work was influenced, in turn, by that of the old masters, the Hudson River school, the Barbizon school, and, finally, by the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg, whose spiritualism found vivid expression in the work of Inness’ maturity. Often called “the father of American landscape painting, Inness is best known for these mature works that not only exemplified the Tonalist movement but also displayed an original and uniquely American style.
George Inness was born in Newburgh, New York. He was the fifth of thirteen children born to John William Inness, a farmer, and his wife, Clarissa Baldwin. His family moved to Newark, New Jersey when he was about five years of age. In 1839 he studied for several months with an itinerant painter, John Jesse Barker. In his teens, Inness worked as a map engraver in New York City. During this time he attracted the attention of French landscape painter Régis François Gignoux, with whom he subsequently studied. Throughout the mid-1840s he also attended classes at the National Academy of Design, and studied the work of Hudson River School artists Thomas Cole and Asher Durand; “If”, Inness later recalled thinking, “these two can be combined, I will try.” He debuted his work at the National Academy in 1844.
Inness opened his first studio in New York in 1848. In 1849, he married Delia Miller, who died a few months later. The next year he married Elizabeth Abigail Hart, with whom he would have six children.
In 1851 a patron named Ogden Haggerty sponsored Inness’ first trip to Europe to paint and study. Inness spent fifteen months in Rome, where he studied landscapes by Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. He also rented a studio there above that of painter William Page, who likely introduced the artist to Swedenborgianism. In 1853 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member and became a full Academician in 1968.
During trips to Paris in the early 1850s, Inness came under the influence of artists working in the Barbizon school of France. Barbizon landscapes were noted for their looser brushwork, darker palette, and emphasis on mood. Inness quickly became the leading American exponent of Barbizon-style painting, which he developed into a highly personal style. In 1854 his son George Inness, Jr., who also became a landscape painter of note, was born in Paris.
In the mid-1850s, Inness was commissioned by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad to create paintings which documented the progress of DLWRR’s growth in early Industrial America. The Lackawanna Valley, painted ca. 1855, represents the railroad’s first roundhouse at Scranton, Pennsylvania, and integrates technology and wilderness within an observed landscape; in time, not only would Inness shun the industrial presence in favor of bucolic or agrarian subjects, but he would produce much of his mature work in the studio, drawing on his visual memory to produce scenes that were often inspired by specific places, yet increasingly concerned with formal considerations.
Inness moved from New York City to Medfield, Massachusetts in 1860. In 1862-63, Boston, he was an art teacher to Charles Dormon Robinson. He then went to Eagleswood, New Jersey in 1864. He returned to Europe in the spring of 1870, living in Rome and touring Tivoli, Lake Albano, and Venice. In 1878, he returned to New York, taking a studio in the New York University Building. The same year, he also participated in the Universal Exposition in Paris, and published art criticism in the New York Evening Post and Harper’s New Monthly Magazine.
His work of the 1860s and 1870s often tended toward the panoramic and picturesque, topped by cloud-laden and threatening skies, and included views of his native country (Autumn Oaks, 1878, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Catskill Mountains, 1870, Art Institute of Chicago), as well as scenes inspired by numerous travels overseas, especially to Italy and France (The Monk, 1873, Addison Gallery of American Art; Etretat, 1875, Wadsworth Atheneum). In terms of composition, precision of drawing, and the emotive use of color, these paintings placed Inness among the best and most successful landscape painters in America.
Eventually Inness’ art evidenced the influence of the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg. Of particular interest to Inness was the notion that everything in nature had a correspondential relationship with something spiritual and so received an “influx” from God in order to continually exist. Another influence upon Inness’ thinking was William James, also an adherent to Swedenborgianism. In particular, Inness was inspired by James’ idea of consciousness as a “stream of thought”, as well as his ideas concerning how mystical experience shapes one’s perspective toward nature.
Inness was the subject of a major retrospective in 1884, organized by the American Art Association, which brought him acclaim in the United States. He earned international fame when he received a gold medal at the 1889 Paris Exposition.
fter Inness settled in Montclair, New Jersey in 1885, and particularly in the last decade of his life, this mystical component manifested in his art through a more abstracted handling of shapes, softened edges, and saturated color (October, 1886, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), a profound and dramatic juxtaposition of sky and earth (Early Autumn, Montclair, 1888, Montclair Art Museum), an emphasis on the intimate landscape view (Sunset in the Woods, 1891, Corcoran Gallery of Art), and an increasingly personal, spontaneous, and often violent handling of paint. It is this last quality in particular which distinguishes Inness from those painters of like sympathies who are characterized as Luminists.
In a published interview, Inness maintained that “The true use of art is, first, to cultivate the artist’s own spiritual nature.” His abiding interest in spiritual and emotional considerations did not preclude Inness from undertaking a scientific study of color, nor a mathematical, structural approach to composition: “The poetic quality is not obtained by eschewing any truths of fact or of Nature…Poetry is the vision of reality.”
Inness died in 1894 at Bridge of Allan in Scotland. According to his son, he was viewing the sunset, when he threw up his hands into the air and exclaimed, “My God! oh, how beautiful!”, fell to the ground, and died minutes later. A public funeral for Inness was held at the National Academy of Design, and a memorial exhibition was conducted at the Fine Arts Building in New York City.

artishardgr:

George Inness - Landscape Study 1876 HD

George Inness (May 1, 1825 – August 3, 1894) was an influential American landscape painter. His work was influenced, in turn, by that of the old masters, the Hudson River school, the Barbizon school, and, finally, by the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg, whose spiritualism found vivid expression in the work of Inness’ maturity. Often called “the father of American landscape painting, Inness is best known for these mature works that not only exemplified the Tonalist movement but also displayed an original and uniquely American style.

George Inness was born in Newburgh, New York. He was the fifth of thirteen children born to John William Inness, a farmer, and his wife, Clarissa Baldwin. His family moved to Newark, New Jersey when he was about five years of age. In 1839 he studied for several months with an itinerant painter, John Jesse Barker. In his teens, Inness worked as a map engraver in New York City. During this time he attracted the attention of French landscape painter Régis François Gignoux, with whom he subsequently studied. Throughout the mid-1840s he also attended classes at the National Academy of Design, and studied the work of Hudson River School artists Thomas Cole and Asher Durand; “If”, Inness later recalled thinking, “these two can be combined, I will try.” He debuted his work at the National Academy in 1844.

Inness opened his first studio in New York in 1848. In 1849, he married Delia Miller, who died a few months later. The next year he married Elizabeth Abigail Hart, with whom he would have six children.

In 1851 a patron named Ogden Haggerty sponsored Inness’ first trip to Europe to paint and study. Inness spent fifteen months in Rome, where he studied landscapes by Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. He also rented a studio there above that of painter William Page, who likely introduced the artist to Swedenborgianism. In 1853 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member and became a full Academician in 1968.

During trips to Paris in the early 1850s, Inness came under the influence of artists working in the Barbizon school of France. Barbizon landscapes were noted for their looser brushwork, darker palette, and emphasis on mood. Inness quickly became the leading American exponent of Barbizon-style painting, which he developed into a highly personal style. In 1854 his son George Inness, Jr., who also became a landscape painter of note, was born in Paris.

In the mid-1850s, Inness was commissioned by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad to create paintings which documented the progress of DLWRR’s growth in early Industrial America. The Lackawanna Valley, painted ca. 1855, represents the railroad’s first roundhouse at Scranton, Pennsylvania, and integrates technology and wilderness within an observed landscape; in time, not only would Inness shun the industrial presence in favor of bucolic or agrarian subjects, but he would produce much of his mature work in the studio, drawing on his visual memory to produce scenes that were often inspired by specific places, yet increasingly concerned with formal considerations.

Inness moved from New York City to Medfield, Massachusetts in 1860. In 1862-63, Boston, he was an art teacher to Charles Dormon Robinson. He then went to Eagleswood, New Jersey in 1864. He returned to Europe in the spring of 1870, living in Rome and touring Tivoli, Lake Albano, and Venice. In 1878, he returned to New York, taking a studio in the New York University Building. The same year, he also participated in the Universal Exposition in Paris, and published art criticism in the New York Evening Post and Harper’s New Monthly Magazine.

His work of the 1860s and 1870s often tended toward the panoramic and picturesque, topped by cloud-laden and threatening skies, and included views of his native country (Autumn Oaks, 1878, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Catskill Mountains, 1870, Art Institute of Chicago), as well as scenes inspired by numerous travels overseas, especially to Italy and France (The Monk, 1873, Addison Gallery of American Art; Etretat, 1875, Wadsworth Atheneum). In terms of composition, precision of drawing, and the emotive use of color, these paintings placed Inness among the best and most successful landscape painters in America.

Eventually Inness’ art evidenced the influence of the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg. Of particular interest to Inness was the notion that everything in nature had a correspondential relationship with something spiritual and so received an “influx” from God in order to continually exist. Another influence upon Inness’ thinking was William James, also an adherent to Swedenborgianism. In particular, Inness was inspired by James’ idea of consciousness as a “stream of thought”, as well as his ideas concerning how mystical experience shapes one’s perspective toward nature.

Inness was the subject of a major retrospective in 1884, organized by the American Art Association, which brought him acclaim in the United States. He earned international fame when he received a gold medal at the 1889 Paris Exposition.

fter Inness settled in Montclair, New Jersey in 1885, and particularly in the last decade of his life, this mystical component manifested in his art through a more abstracted handling of shapes, softened edges, and saturated color (October, 1886, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), a profound and dramatic juxtaposition of sky and earth (Early Autumn, Montclair, 1888, Montclair Art Museum), an emphasis on the intimate landscape view (Sunset in the Woods, 1891, Corcoran Gallery of Art), and an increasingly personal, spontaneous, and often violent handling of paint. It is this last quality in particular which distinguishes Inness from those painters of like sympathies who are characterized as Luminists.

In a published interview, Inness maintained that “The true use of art is, first, to cultivate the artist’s own spiritual nature.” His abiding interest in spiritual and emotional considerations did not preclude Inness from undertaking a scientific study of color, nor a mathematical, structural approach to composition: “The poetic quality is not obtained by eschewing any truths of fact or of Nature…Poetry is the vision of reality.”

Inness died in 1894 at Bridge of Allan in Scotland. According to his son, he was viewing the sunset, when he threw up his hands into the air and exclaimed, “My God! oh, how beautiful!”, fell to the ground, and died minutes later. A public funeral for Inness was held at the National Academy of Design, and a memorial exhibition was conducted at the Fine Arts Building in New York City.

literarydogs:

American artist Henry Ward Ranger in good company.

Henry Ward Ranger (January 29, 1858 – November 7, 1916 ), American artist, was born in western New York State. He was a prominent landscape and marine painter, an important Tonalist, and the leader of the Old Lyme Art Colony. Ranger became a National Academician (1906), and a member of the American Water Color Society. Among his paintings are, Top of the Hill, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and East River Idyll, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Henry Ward Ranger was born on January 28, 1858. His mother was Martha Marie, and his father Ward Valencourt Ranger, and he was born in the rural western part of New York State, most likely in Geneseo. He grew up in Syracuse, where his father worked as a commercial photographer, but his father also had some artistic training and later taught drawing. As a young man he studied music, excelling on the piano and organ. Ranger grew up drawing and painting and received initial encouragement from his parents. After graduating from public school, he studied at Syracuse University for two years, where he studied art formally for the first time. While he worked in his father’s photographic business, he began painting watercolor landscapes, which were said to have surprisingly free brush work for someone who had not yet studied abroad. He moved to New York City in 1878 where he saw works of the Barbizon School for the first time. He supported his art studies by reviewing music and theater for several New York newspapers. In 1883, he married an Helen Jennings, a divorced actress with a son.
The newly formed Ranger family moved to Europe, visiting Paris first, but then settling in Laren, Holland where he became active with the Hague School painters, Jozef Israëls, Anton Mauve and the Maris brothers. Ranger was rapidly adopted by the Dutch painters and he quickly adopted their subjects and way of working. He sketched with the Hague School artists and learned to paint the quickly changing skies of the low counties. Because of the flatness of the land, the skies were important in Hague School paintings and the cloud filled skies with the their diffused light became characteristic of Ranger’s early work. The artist enjoyed living in the modest town, and his work advanced enough to be accepted by the Paris Salons by the late 1880s, and his work was accepted by leading Dutch collectors.
Ranger set up a New York studio in 1888, so he could paint landscapes there and cultivate American collectors. He had a major exhibition at Knoedler Galleries in New York in 1892, which consisted of twenty-four paintings and received a positive review. He painted watercolors that were considered free and vibrant by critics like Arthur Hoeber. Once back in the United States, Ranger became one of the leaders of the “Tonal” school of painting, and it is he who was given credit for coming up with the name "Tonalist." An exhibition of his paintings at the Lotos Club in the mid-1890s institutionalized the style. In 1894, he had an exhibition at the Macbeth Gallery, the first firm to specialize in the works of American artists. This exhibition included many works that had been done on a sketching trip to Canada.
Ranger was the first member of the Florence Griswold circle in the Old Lyme Art Colony in Old Lyme, Connecticut. He first stayed at Florence Griswold’s boardinghouse in the summer of 1899, perhaps having heard about the area from several colleagues who had summered there and in nearby towns on the Connecticut coast in the 1890s. Inspired by the landscape’s resemblance to the Barbizon forest of France, the art colony was established under Ranger’s leadership in 1900.
The gathering in Old Lyme was the largest art colony of its time. At Ranger’s example, the artists’ primary purpose was to make preliminary studies while working directly from nature, with the further intent that the paintings’ surfaces be texturally interesting. Then, in emulation of the Old Masters, Ranger and his followers added layers of golden-brown glazes to finish their works, in order to “acquire the tonal expression of a subject.”
The ascendance of Tonalism in Old Lyme was truncated when Childe Hassam joined the colony in 1903, and with his arrival Impressionism became the dominant manner of the artists painting there.” In 1904 Ranger moved twenty miles east to Noank, where he continued to paint forest interiors and coastal scenes, though with a palette that increasingly suggested the influence of Impressionism.
Immediately after his death, Ranger’s work continued to bring good prices. When his estate was auctioned off in 1917, 129 paintings sold for $66,240; the New York Times claimed it was the highest average price paid for the works of a dead artist.
Ranger’s artistic legacy has been problematic. Once considered the leader of the ‘Tonal School’, his reputation declined precipitously in the 1930s. That he was heavily influenced by the Hague School, the Barbizon School and the Venetian Renaissance helped to account for some of his most vibrant painterly characteristics, yet it also marked Ranger’s work as among the most conservative examples of the Tonalist movement. The Tonalism of Old Lyme came to be viewed as anachronistic, and Ranger’s stock suffered as a result.
Recent reassessment has restored credit to Ranger, as “an artist whose influence is not generally understood and whose work has been neglected far too long.” In his best landscapes there is “an emotion visible in the molten forces bubbling up from his surfaces in thick impastos, luscious and rich with jewel-like tone, a painterly approximation of the underlying powers constantly transforming the natural world.”
A successful businessman, Ranger made a bequest to the National Academy of Design, allocating between $250,000 and $400,000. Ranger’s gift allowed the National Collection, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, to purchase major works by American artists.

literarydogs:

American artist Henry Ward Ranger in good company.

Henry Ward Ranger (January 29, 1858 – November 7, 1916 ), American artist, was born in western New York State. He was a prominent landscape and marine painter, an important Tonalist, and the leader of the Old Lyme Art Colony. Ranger became a National Academician (1906), and a member of the American Water Color Society. Among his paintings are, Top of the Hill, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and East River Idyll, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Henry Ward Ranger was born on January 28, 1858. His mother was Martha Marie, and his father Ward Valencourt Ranger, and he was born in the rural western part of New York State, most likely in Geneseo. He grew up in Syracuse, where his father worked as a commercial photographer, but his father also had some artistic training and later taught drawing. As a young man he studied music, excelling on the piano and organ. Ranger grew up drawing and painting and received initial encouragement from his parents. After graduating from public school, he studied at Syracuse University for two years, where he studied art formally for the first time. While he worked in his father’s photographic business, he began painting watercolor landscapes, which were said to have surprisingly free brush work for someone who had not yet studied abroad. He moved to New York City in 1878 where he saw works of the Barbizon School for the first time. He supported his art studies by reviewing music and theater for several New York newspapers. In 1883, he married an Helen Jennings, a divorced actress with a son.

The newly formed Ranger family moved to Europe, visiting Paris first, but then settling in Laren, Holland where he became active with the Hague School painters, Jozef Israëls, Anton Mauve and the Maris brothers. Ranger was rapidly adopted by the Dutch painters and he quickly adopted their subjects and way of working. He sketched with the Hague School artists and learned to paint the quickly changing skies of the low counties. Because of the flatness of the land, the skies were important in Hague School paintings and the cloud filled skies with the their diffused light became characteristic of Ranger’s early work. The artist enjoyed living in the modest town, and his work advanced enough to be accepted by the Paris Salons by the late 1880s, and his work was accepted by leading Dutch collectors.

Ranger set up a New York studio in 1888, so he could paint landscapes there and cultivate American collectors. He had a major exhibition at Knoedler Galleries in New York in 1892, which consisted of twenty-four paintings and received a positive review. He painted watercolors that were considered free and vibrant by critics like Arthur Hoeber. Once back in the United States, Ranger became one of the leaders of the “Tonal” school of painting, and it is he who was given credit for coming up with the name "Tonalist." An exhibition of his paintings at the Lotos Club in the mid-1890s institutionalized the style. In 1894, he had an exhibition at the Macbeth Gallery, the first firm to specialize in the works of American artists. This exhibition included many works that had been done on a sketching trip to Canada.

Ranger was the first member of the Florence Griswold circle in the Old Lyme Art Colony in Old Lyme, Connecticut. He first stayed at Florence Griswold’s boardinghouse in the summer of 1899, perhaps having heard about the area from several colleagues who had summered there and in nearby towns on the Connecticut coast in the 1890s. Inspired by the landscape’s resemblance to the Barbizon forest of France, the art colony was established under Ranger’s leadership in 1900.

The gathering in Old Lyme was the largest art colony of its time. At Ranger’s example, the artists’ primary purpose was to make preliminary studies while working directly from nature, with the further intent that the paintings’ surfaces be texturally interesting. Then, in emulation of the Old Masters, Ranger and his followers added layers of golden-brown glazes to finish their works, in order to “acquire the tonal expression of a subject.”

The ascendance of Tonalism in Old Lyme was truncated when Childe Hassam joined the colony in 1903, and with his arrival Impressionism became the dominant manner of the artists painting there.” In 1904 Ranger moved twenty miles east to Noank, where he continued to paint forest interiors and coastal scenes, though with a palette that increasingly suggested the influence of Impressionism.

Immediately after his death, Ranger’s work continued to bring good prices. When his estate was auctioned off in 1917, 129 paintings sold for $66,240; the New York Times claimed it was the highest average price paid for the works of a dead artist.

Ranger’s artistic legacy has been problematic. Once considered the leader of the ‘Tonal School’, his reputation declined precipitously in the 1930s. That he was heavily influenced by the Hague School, the Barbizon School and the Venetian Renaissance helped to account for some of his most vibrant painterly characteristics, yet it also marked Ranger’s work as among the most conservative examples of the Tonalist movement. The Tonalism of Old Lyme came to be viewed as anachronistic, and Ranger’s stock suffered as a result.

Recent reassessment has restored credit to Ranger, as “an artist whose influence is not generally understood and whose work has been neglected far too long.” In his best landscapes there is “an emotion visible in the molten forces bubbling up from his surfaces in thick impastos, luscious and rich with jewel-like tone, a painterly approximation of the underlying powers constantly transforming the natural world.”

A successful businessman, Ranger made a bequest to the National Academy of Design, allocating between $250,000 and $400,000. Ranger’s gift allowed the National Collection, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, to purchase major works by American artists.

toomuchart:

Gifford Beal, Across the Valley, 1916.

Gifford Beal (January 24, 1879 – February 5, 1956) was an American artist noted for his work as a painter, watercolorist, printmaker and muralist.
Born in New York City, Gifford Beal was the youngest son in a family of six surviving children. His oldest brother Reynolds Beal (1866–1951) also went on to become an accomplished painter as did his niece Marjorie Acker (1894–1985), who married Duncan Phillips, the founder of The Phillips Collection of Washington D.C.
Beal knew from an early age that he wanted to paint. Between 1892 and 1901 he studied with William Merritt Chase (1849–1916) on weekends in New York City and during the summer at Chase’s School in Shinnecock Hills, Long Island.
After graduating from Princeton University in 1900 he studied at the Art Students League of New York from 1901 to 1903 with George Brandt Bridgman (1864–1943) and Frank Vincent DuMond (1865–1951).
Beal was elected President of the Art Students League of New York in 1916, again in 1918, and from 1920 he held this office continuously until 1930, becoming the longest serving President in its history. He taught at The Art Students’ League in 1931 and 1932.
In 1920 Beal held his first one-man exhibition at Kraushaar Galleries in New York City. It was the beginning of a lifelong relationship he would have with the gallery. His work was exhibited continuously in the country.
Beal’s involvement with organizations for the advancement of the arts began in 1908 when he was elected to Associate by the National Academy of Design; in 1914 he was elected to National Academician. In 1923 he became a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1943 he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was a National Academician of the American Watercolor Society from 1910 until 1955. He was also a member of the Century Association, a New York City club founded in 1847 for artists and writers.
Beal’s subjects varied. He found inspiration not only in holiday spectacle and pageantry but also in the natural and everyday side of life. Some of his best known pictures are of holiday crowds, circus performers and hunting scenes. Yet, Beal enjoyed painting the Caribbean Islands and the landscape along the Hudson River and in Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts, where he spent many summers. He depicted many scenes of the fishermen who worked there.
The French Impressionists’ use of color and light to create form and atmosphere provided Beal’s first influence. As his personal style developed, other elements of painting were emphasized: compositions were built on line and form thereby adding more solidity to the work. For example, he depended on balanced, rhythmic elements to depict motion in riding or fishing scenes. Beal believed in the power of spontaneity and would sometimes rework a “dead” area of color with line in order to revitalize it.
Beal’s style underwent a simplification in the 1930s, his “austere” phase which coincided with American regionalism. As he grew older, his work became increasingly free and spirited, in part due to his exploration of different media, especially egg/oil tempera and brush and ink. These changes increased his sense of color and gesture, and he began to emphasize the abstract qualities of his subject. He did some of his boldest and brightest work during the last years of his life.

toomuchart:

Gifford Beal, Across the Valley, 1916.

Gifford Beal (January 24, 1879 – February 5, 1956) was an American artist noted for his work as a painter, watercolorist, printmaker and muralist.

Born in New York City, Gifford Beal was the youngest son in a family of six surviving children. His oldest brother Reynolds Beal (1866–1951) also went on to become an accomplished painter as did his niece Marjorie Acker (1894–1985), who married Duncan Phillips, the founder of The Phillips Collection of Washington D.C.

Beal knew from an early age that he wanted to paint. Between 1892 and 1901 he studied with William Merritt Chase (1849–1916) on weekends in New York City and during the summer at Chase’s School in Shinnecock Hills, Long Island.

After graduating from Princeton University in 1900 he studied at the Art Students League of New York from 1901 to 1903 with George Brandt Bridgman (1864–1943) and Frank Vincent DuMond (1865–1951).

Beal was elected President of the Art Students League of New York in 1916, again in 1918, and from 1920 he held this office continuously until 1930, becoming the longest serving President in its history. He taught at The Art Students’ League in 1931 and 1932.

In 1920 Beal held his first one-man exhibition at Kraushaar Galleries in New York City. It was the beginning of a lifelong relationship he would have with the gallery. His work was exhibited continuously in the country.

Beal’s involvement with organizations for the advancement of the arts began in 1908 when he was elected to Associate by the National Academy of Design; in 1914 he was elected to National Academician. In 1923 he became a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1943 he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was a National Academician of the American Watercolor Society from 1910 until 1955. He was also a member of the Century Association, a New York City club founded in 1847 for artists and writers.

Beal’s subjects varied. He found inspiration not only in holiday spectacle and pageantry but also in the natural and everyday side of life. Some of his best known pictures are of holiday crowds, circus performers and hunting scenes. Yet, Beal enjoyed painting the Caribbean Islands and the landscape along the Hudson River and in Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts, where he spent many summers. He depicted many scenes of the fishermen who worked there.

The French Impressionists’ use of color and light to create form and atmosphere provided Beal’s first influence. As his personal style developed, other elements of painting were emphasized: compositions were built on line and form thereby adding more solidity to the work. For example, he depended on balanced, rhythmic elements to depict motion in riding or fishing scenes. Beal believed in the power of spontaneity and would sometimes rework a “dead” area of color with line in order to revitalize it.

Beal’s style underwent a simplification in the 1930s, his “austere” phase which coincided with American regionalism. As he grew older, his work became increasingly free and spirited, in part due to his exploration of different media, especially egg/oil tempera and brush and ink. These changes increased his sense of color and gesture, and he began to emphasize the abstract qualities of his subject. He did some of his boldest and brightest work during the last years of his life.

paintingbox:

George Bellows (1882 - 1925). The Bridge, Blackwell’s Island, 1909. 
Oil on Canvas. 86.5 x 111.9 cm.

George Wesley Bellows (August 12 or August 19, 1882 – January 8, 1925) was an American realist painter, known for his bold depictions of urban life in New York City, becoming, according to the Columbus Museum of Art, “the most acclaimed American artist of his generation”.
George Bellows was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He was an only child, born four years after his parents married, at the ages of fifty and forty respectively. His mother, Anna Wilhelmina Smith, was the daughter of a whaling captain.
Bellows attended The Ohio State University from 1901 until 1904. There he played for the baseball and basketball teams, and provided illustrations for the Makio, the school’s student yearbook. He was encouraged to become a professional baseball player, and he worked as a commercial illustrator while a student and continued to accept magazine assignments throughout his life. Despite these opportunities in athletics and commercial art, Bellows desired success as a painter. He left Ohio State in 1904 just before he was to graduate and moved to New York City to study art.
Bellows first achieved notice in 1908, when he and other pupils of Henri organized an exhibition of mostly urban studies. While many critics considered these to be crudely painted, others found them welcomely audacious and a step beyond the work of his teacher. Bellows taught at the Art Students League of New York in 1909, although he was more interested in pursuing a career as a painter. His fame grew as he contributed to other nationally recognized juried shows.
Bellows’ urban New York scenes depicted the crudity and chaos of working-class people and neighborhoods, and also satirized the upper classes. From 1907 through 1915, he executed a series of paintings depicting New York City under snowfall. These paintings were the main testing ground in which Bellows developed his strong sense of light and visual texture. These exhibited a stark contrast between the blue and white expanses of snow and the rough and grimy surfaces of city structures, and created an aesthetically ironic image of the equally rough and grimy men struggling to clear away the nuisance of the pure snow. However, Bellows’ series of paintings portraying amateur boxing matches were arguably his signature contribution to art history. These paintings are characterized by dark atmospheres, through which the bright, roughly lain brushstrokes of the human figures vividly strike with a strong sense of motion and direction.
Bellows was soon a student of Robert Henri at the New York School of Art, and became associated with Henri’s “The Eight” and the Ashcan School, a group of artists who advocated painting contemporary American society in all its forms. By 1906, Bellows was renting his own studio, on Broadway.
Growing prestige as a painter brought changes in his life and work. Though he continued his earlier themes, Bellows also began to receive portrait commissions, as well as social invitations, from New York’s wealthy elite. Additionally, he followed Henri’s lead and began to summer in Maine, painting seascapes on Monhegan and Matinicus islands.
At the same time, the always socially conscious Bellows also associated with a group of radical artists and activists called “the Lyrical Left”, who tended towards anarchism in their extreme advocacy of individual rights. He taught at the first Modern School in New York City (as did his mentor, Henri), and served on the editorial board of the socialist journal, The Masses, to which he contributed many drawings and prints beginning in 1911. However, he was often at odds with the other contributors because of his belief that artistic freedom should trump any ideological editorial policy. Bellows also notably dissented from this circle in his very public support of U.S. intervention in World War I. In 1918, he created a series of lithographs and paintings that graphically depicted the atrocities committed by Germany during its invasion of Belgium. Notable among these was The Germans Arrive, which was based on an actual account and gruesomely illustrated a German soldier restraining a Belgian teen whose hands had just been severed. However, his work was also highly critical of the domestic censorship and persecution of anti-war dissenters conducted by the U.S. government under the Espionage Act.
He was also criticized for some of the liberties he took in capturing scenes of war. The artist Joseph Pennell argued that because Bellows had not witnessed the events he painted firsthand, he had no right to paint them. Bellows responded that he had not been aware that Leonardo da Vinci “had a ticket to paint the Last Supper”.
As Bellows’ later oils focused more on domestic life, with his wife and daughters as beloved subjects, the paintings also displayed an increasingly programmatic and theoretical approach to color and design, a marked departure from the fluid muscularity of the early work.
In addition to painting, Bellows made significant contributions to lithography, helping to expand the use of the medium as a fine art in the U.S. He installed a lithography press in his studio in 1916, and between 1921 and 1924 he collaborated with master printer Bolton Brown on more than a hundred images. Bellows also illustrated numerous books in his later career, including several by H.G. Wells.
Bellows taught at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1919. In 1920, he began to spend nearly half of each year in Woodstock, New York, where he built a home for his family. He died on January 8, 1925 in New York City, of peritonitis, after failing to tend to a ruptured appendix. He was survived by his wife, Emma, and two daughters, Anne and Jean. Bellows is buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

paintingbox:

George Bellows (1882 - 1925). The Bridge, Blackwell’s Island, 1909.

Oil on Canvas. 86.5 x 111.9 cm.

George Wesley Bellows (August 12 or August 19, 1882 – January 8, 1925) was an American realist painter, known for his bold depictions of urban life in New York City, becoming, according to the Columbus Museum of Art, “the most acclaimed American artist of his generation”.

George Bellows was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He was an only child, born four years after his parents married, at the ages of fifty and forty respectively. His mother, Anna Wilhelmina Smith, was the daughter of a whaling captain.

Bellows attended The Ohio State University from 1901 until 1904. There he played for the baseball and basketball teams, and provided illustrations for the Makio, the school’s student yearbook. He was encouraged to become a professional baseball player, and he worked as a commercial illustrator while a student and continued to accept magazine assignments throughout his life. Despite these opportunities in athletics and commercial art, Bellows desired success as a painter. He left Ohio State in 1904 just before he was to graduate and moved to New York City to study art.

Bellows first achieved notice in 1908, when he and other pupils of Henri organized an exhibition of mostly urban studies. While many critics considered these to be crudely painted, others found them welcomely audacious and a step beyond the work of his teacher. Bellows taught at the Art Students League of New York in 1909, although he was more interested in pursuing a career as a painter. His fame grew as he contributed to other nationally recognized juried shows.

Bellows’ urban New York scenes depicted the crudity and chaos of working-class people and neighborhoods, and also satirized the upper classes. From 1907 through 1915, he executed a series of paintings depicting New York City under snowfall. These paintings were the main testing ground in which Bellows developed his strong sense of light and visual texture. These exhibited a stark contrast between the blue and white expanses of snow and the rough and grimy surfaces of city structures, and created an aesthetically ironic image of the equally rough and grimy men struggling to clear away the nuisance of the pure snow. However, Bellows’ series of paintings portraying amateur boxing matches were arguably his signature contribution to art history. These paintings are characterized by dark atmospheres, through which the bright, roughly lain brushstrokes of the human figures vividly strike with a strong sense of motion and direction.

Bellows was soon a student of Robert Henri at the New York School of Art, and became associated with Henri’s “The Eight” and the Ashcan School, a group of artists who advocated painting contemporary American society in all its forms. By 1906, Bellows was renting his own studio, on Broadway.

Growing prestige as a painter brought changes in his life and work. Though he continued his earlier themes, Bellows also began to receive portrait commissions, as well as social invitations, from New York’s wealthy elite. Additionally, he followed Henri’s lead and began to summer in Maine, painting seascapes on Monhegan and Matinicus islands.

At the same time, the always socially conscious Bellows also associated with a group of radical artists and activists called “the Lyrical Left”, who tended towards anarchism in their extreme advocacy of individual rights. He taught at the first Modern School in New York City (as did his mentor, Henri), and served on the editorial board of the socialist journal, The Masses, to which he contributed many drawings and prints beginning in 1911. However, he was often at odds with the other contributors because of his belief that artistic freedom should trump any ideological editorial policy. Bellows also notably dissented from this circle in his very public support of U.S. intervention in World War I. In 1918, he created a series of lithographs and paintings that graphically depicted the atrocities committed by Germany during its invasion of Belgium. Notable among these was The Germans Arrive, which was based on an actual account and gruesomely illustrated a German soldier restraining a Belgian teen whose hands had just been severed. However, his work was also highly critical of the domestic censorship and persecution of anti-war dissenters conducted by the U.S. government under the Espionage Act.

He was also criticized for some of the liberties he took in capturing scenes of war. The artist Joseph Pennell argued that because Bellows had not witnessed the events he painted firsthand, he had no right to paint them. Bellows responded that he had not been aware that Leonardo da Vinci “had a ticket to paint the Last Supper”.

As Bellows’ later oils focused more on domestic life, with his wife and daughters as beloved subjects, the paintings also displayed an increasingly programmatic and theoretical approach to color and design, a marked departure from the fluid muscularity of the early work.

In addition to painting, Bellows made significant contributions to lithography, helping to expand the use of the medium as a fine art in the U.S. He installed a lithography press in his studio in 1916, and between 1921 and 1924 he collaborated with master printer Bolton Brown on more than a hundred images. Bellows also illustrated numerous books in his later career, including several by H.G. Wells.

Bellows taught at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1919. In 1920, he began to spend nearly half of each year in Woodstock, New York, where he built a home for his family. He died on January 8, 1925 in New York City, of peritonitis, after failing to tend to a ruptured appendix. He was survived by his wife, Emma, and two daughters, Anne and Jean. Bellows is buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

cavetocanvas:

Thomas Eakins, The Agnew Clinic, 1889

Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (July 25, 1844 – June 25, 1916) was an American realist painter, photographer, sculptor, and fine arts educator. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important artists in American art history.
For the length of his professional career, from the early 1870s until his health began to fail some 40 years later, Eakins worked exactingly from life, choosing as his subject the people of his hometown of Philadelphia. He painted several hundred portraits, usually of friends, family members, or prominent people in the arts, sciences, medicine, and clergy. Taken en masse, the portraits offer an overview of the intellectual life of Philadelphia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; individually, they are incisive depictions of thinking persons.
In addition, Eakins produced a number of large paintings which brought the portrait out of the drawing room and into the offices, streets, parks, rivers, arenas, and surgical amphitheaters of his city. These active outdoor venues allowed him to paint the subject which most inspired him: the nude or lightly clad figure in motion. In the process he could model the forms of the body in full sunlight, and create images of deep space utilizing his studies in perspective. Eakins also took a keen interest in the new technologies of motion photography, a field in which he is now seen as an innovator.
No less important in Eakins’ life was his work as a teacher. As an instructor he was a highly influential presence in American art. The difficulties which beset him as an artist seeking to paint the portrait and figure realistically were paralleled and even amplified in his career as an educator, where behavioral and sexual scandals truncated his success and damaged his reputation.
Eakins was a controversial figure whose work received little by way of official recognition during his lifetime. Since his death, he has been celebrated by American art historians as “the strongest, most profound realist in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American art”.

cavetocanvas:

Thomas Eakins, The Agnew Clinic, 1889

Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (July 25, 1844 – June 25, 1916) was an American realist painter, photographer, sculptor, and fine arts educator. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important artists in American art history.

For the length of his professional career, from the early 1870s until his health began to fail some 40 years later, Eakins worked exactingly from life, choosing as his subject the people of his hometown of Philadelphia. He painted several hundred portraits, usually of friends, family members, or prominent people in the arts, sciences, medicine, and clergy. Taken en masse, the portraits offer an overview of the intellectual life of Philadelphia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; individually, they are incisive depictions of thinking persons.

In addition, Eakins produced a number of large paintings which brought the portrait out of the drawing room and into the offices, streets, parks, rivers, arenas, and surgical amphitheaters of his city. These active outdoor venues allowed him to paint the subject which most inspired him: the nude or lightly clad figure in motion. In the process he could model the forms of the body in full sunlight, and create images of deep space utilizing his studies in perspective. Eakins also took a keen interest in the new technologies of motion photography, a field in which he is now seen as an innovator.

No less important in Eakins’ life was his work as a teacher. As an instructor he was a highly influential presence in American art. The difficulties which beset him as an artist seeking to paint the portrait and figure realistically were paralleled and even amplified in his career as an educator, where behavioral and sexual scandals truncated his success and damaged his reputation.

Eakins was a controversial figure whose work received little by way of official recognition during his lifetime. Since his death, he has been celebrated by American art historians as “the strongest, most profound realist in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American art”.

pookiestheone:

Thomas Pollock Anshutz (1851 - 1912) - paintings

Thomas Pollock Anshutz (October 5, 1851 – June 16, 1912) was an American painter and teacher. Co-founder of The Darby School and leader at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Anshutz was known for his award winning portraiture work and working friendship with Thomas Eakins.

Thomas Anshutz - Self Portrait - c. 1909

Thomas Anshutz was  born in Newport, Kentucky in 1851. He grew up in Newport and Wheeling, West Virginia. His early art instruction took place at the National Academy of Design in the early 1870s, where he studied under Lemuel Wilmarth. In 1875 he moved to Philadelphia and took a class taught by Thomas Eakins at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, a class which would solidify a close relationship and influence between Eakins and Anshutz. In 1892 Anshutz married Effie Shriver Russell. The two spent their honeymoon in Paris, where Anshutz attended classes at Académie Julian. In 1893 they returned to Philadelphia. Later in his life he proclaimed himself a socialist. 

Eakins began teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1876, the same year that Anshutz enrolled as a student. Eakins was Chief Demonstrator of Anatomy and Christian Schussele was Professor of Drawing and Painting. In 1878 Anshutz became Eakins’s assistant, eventually succeeding Eakins as Chief Demonstrator when Eakins was promoted to Professor of Drawing and Painting. In 1880, while still a student, Anshutz completed his first major work, The Ironworkers’ Noontime.

The Ironworkers’ Noontime, Anshutz’s most well known painting, depicts twenty-or-so workers on their break in the yard of a foundry. Painted near Wheeling, West Virginia, it is conceived in a naturalistic style similar to that of Eakins, although Eakins never painted industrial subjects. The piece was exhibited at the Philadelphia Sketch Club in 1881 and compared to Eakin’s work by art critics. Art historian Randall C. Griffin has written of it: “One of the first American paintings to depict the bleakness of factory life, The Ironworkers’ Noontime appears to be a clear indictment of industrialization. Its brutal candor startled critics, who saw it as unexpectedly confrontational—a chilling industrial snapshot not the least picturesque or sublime.” It is now in the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Around 1880 Eakins became involved in photography, incorporating it into his classes and using it as a tool for his artwork. Anshutz and other students at the Academy started to make use of the camera, posing models and making prints for study. Anshutz participated in Eakins’s The Naked Series, photographing nude models in seven pre-defined standing poses. He modeled for Eakins himself, along with colleagues such as J. Laurie Wallace and Covington Few Seiss, who would pose outdoors nude, often wrestling, swimming and boxing. Eadweard Muybridge eventually made his way to Philadelphia and Anshutz and Eakins helped build Muybridge’s zoopraxiscope.

Eakins was forced to resign from the Academy in an 1886 scandal that was sparked by his use of a fully nude male model in front of either an all-female or a mixed-male-and-female class. Anshutz did not defend his mentor, in fact, he turned against him. Anshutz co-signed a letter to the Philadelphia Sketch Club: “We hereby charge Mr. Thoms Eakins with conduct unworthy of a gentleman & discreditable to this organization & ask his expulsion from the club.”

Anshutz was promoted to Eakins’s position at the Academy. Anshutz would briefly travel to Europe, focusing primarily on his teaching in Philadelphia. Numerous artists studied under Anshutz, including Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, George Luks, Charles Demuth, John Sloan, Charles Sheeler, Everett Shinn, John Marin, William Glackens, and Robert Henri. As a teacher, Anshutz, according to art historian Sanford Schwartz, “was known as much for his approachability as his sarcasm, which apparently wasn’t of the withering variety.”

The Anshutz family regularly vacationed in Holly Beach, New Jersey which served as a creative place for the painter. There he experimented with watercolors, bright color palette, and simple compositions. He also photographed the natural environment, utilizing the images as studies for paintings, specifically Holly Beach and trips down the Delaware and Maurice rivers. Although Anshutz experimented persistently with landscape painting, he was more well known for his portraiture, which won him numerous awards in the 1890s and 1900s. In 1898 he and Hugh Breckenridge co-founded the Darby School, a summer school outside of Philadelphia which emphasized plein air painting. At Darby Anshutz created his most abstract works, a series of bright oil landscape paintings that were never exhibited. He continued to participate at Darby until 1910. He was elected as an Associate member of the National Academy of Design in 1910. He served as president of the Philadelphia Sketch Club.

He retired from teaching in the fall of 1911 due to poor health and died on June 16, 1912.