The Paintrist Files
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.

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.