Neoclassicism and Romanticism

 


(Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Art Styles in 19th ceytury - Art Map)



 



Asher Durand

George Inness

John Kensett

Worthington Whittredge





see collections:


Thomas Cole


Frederic Edwin Church


Albert Bierstadt



see also:

Hiroshige - Bierstad
t

"East-West"

 




Romantic Era

 

 
 
   


Romantic Painting in the United States

 

When the Pilgrim Fathers left England for America to escape religious persecution in the early seventeenth century, they not only brought their settlements to the New World but also their doctrine of salvation. They envisioned creating a Nation of God in New England, or New Canaan, as they called it. Their emigration, their passage through the wilderness, the foundation of a Kingdom of God on earth, bore parallels in the Puritans' minds with the Exodus of the Jews to the Promised Land. New England was part and parcel of the Christian history foreordained by the Lord; the settlers claimed the privilege of being a chosen people, and their belief in a possible earthly paradise determined their vision of America's destiny. In consequence they propagated the American present as the point of departure for an unlimited secular progress.
Ideas of this kind retained their underlying validity in many subsequent guises. Wild and unspoiled nature, in particular, figured in America as a sublime manifestation of divinity. It was revered with well-nigh religious fervor and at the same time raised to a patriotic symbol.
This perhaps explains why, around 1800, landscape became the preferred medium of Romantic painting in the United States, as well as an emblem of America as an earthly paradise. Painters there frequently took as their model Claude Lorrain, with his prospects leading the eye to an idealized and hazy horizon, and his moods of color and light that evoked a paradise in the here and now.
Claude's arcadias were transformed into a vision of America. It was in this vein that Thomas Cole (1801 — 1848), an emigrant from England who founded the Hudson River School, extolled the New World wilderness as a divine creation in his 1836 "Study on the American Landscape." In the same vein, Cole's pupil Frederic Edwin Church (1826— 1900), in his 1857 painting Niagara Falls, raised the natural wonder to a symbol of the political energy of "God's own" people and their country. In parallel, Cole's pictures of the South American tropics presented the spectacle of an exotic paradise. At the same period, the German-born Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) discovered the American West for painting in romantically visionary compositions.
Yet the artistic appropriation of the frontier West or the tropics also had an escapist aspect, because the more unspoiled regions in the United States were overrun by civilization, the more artists had to turn to exotic landscape preserves if they wished to continue dreaming the dream of a "promised land," to continue to believe in the Romantic Utopia of a reconciliation between elemental nature and modern man.
 


 


Hudson River School


(Encyclopaedia Britannica)


large group of American landscape painters of several generations who worked between about 1825 and 1870. The name, applied retrospectively, refers to a similarity of intent rather than to a geographic location, though many of the older members of the group drew inspiration from the picturesque Catskill region north of New York City, through which the Hudson River flows. An outgrowth of the Romantic movement, the Hudson River school was the first native school of painting in the United States; it was strongly nationalistic both in its proud celebration of the natural beauty of the American landscape and in the desire of its artists to become independent of European schools of painting.

The early leaders of the Hudson River school were Thomas Doughty, Asher Durand, and Thomas Cole, all of whom worked in the open and painted reverential, carefully observed pictures of untouched wilderness in the Hudson River valley and nearby locations in New England. Although these painters and most of the others who followed their example studied in Europe at some point, all had first achieved a measure of success at home and had established the common theme of the remoteness and splendour of the American interior. Doughty concentrated on serene, lyrical, contemplative scenes of the valley itself. Durand, also lyrical, was more intimate and particularly made use of delicate lighting in woodland scenes. Cole, the most romantic of the early group, favoured the stormy and monumental aspects of nature. Other painters who concentrated on depicting the landscape of the northeastern United States were Alvan Fisher, Henry Inman, and Samuel F.B. Morse and, later, John Kensett, John Casilear, Worthington Whittredge, and Jasper F. Cropsey. Frederic Edwin Church is considered a member of the Hudson River school, although the exotically dramatic landscapes he painted frequently had little to do with typical American vistas. The more individual landscape painter George Inness also beganas a Hudson River painter.

For some painters whose theme was untouched landscape, the northeast was less alluring than the more primitive and dramatic landscapes of the west. John Banvard and Henry Lewis painted huge panoramas of empty stretches of the Mississippi River. Among the first artists to explore the Far West were the enormously successful Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt, who painted grandiose scenes of the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, and Yosemite Valley. The Hudson River school remained the dominant school of American landscape painting throughout most of the 19th century.
 




 




see collections:


Thomas Cole


Frederic Edwin Church


Albert Bierstadt




see also:


Hiroshige - Bierstad
t

"East-West"

 


Thomas Cole


(Encyclopaedia Britannica)


born Feb. 1, 1801, Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire, Eng.
died Feb. 11, 1848, Catskill, N.Y., U.S.


American Romantic landscape painter who was a founder of the Hudson River school.

Cole's family immigrated first to Philadelphia and then settled in Steubenville, Ohio. He was trained by an itinerant portrait painter named Stein and then spent two years at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1825 some of Cole's landscapes in a New York shop window attracted the attention of Colonel John Trumbull and the painter Asher B. Durand. They bought his works and found him patrons, assuring his future success.

In 1826 Cole made his home in the village of Catskill, N.Y., on the western bank of the Hudson River. From there he frequently journeyed through the Northeast, primarily on foot, making pencil studies of the landscape. He used these sketches to compose pictures in his studio during the winter. One of Cole's most effective landscape paintings, “The Ox-Bow” (1846; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City), was the result of pencil studies that he made in Massachusetts. Cole's scenes of the Hudson River valley, reverently recorded, echoed the loneliness and mystery of the North American forests. Cole could paint direct and factual landscapes recorded in minute detail, but he was also capable of producing grandiose and dramatic imaginaryvistas using bold effects of light and chiaroscuro. When the human figure appears in his works, it is always subordinate to the majesty of the surrounding landscape.

Cole spent the years 1829–32 and 1841–42 abroad, mainly in Italy. He lived in Florence with the American sculptor Horatio Greenough. When he returned to the United States, he painted five huge canvases for a series entitled “The Course of Empire” (1836). These paintings are allegories on the progress of mankind based on the Count de Volney's Ruines, ou méditations sur les révolutions des empires (1791). A second series, called “The Voyage of Life” (begun 1839), depicts a symbolic journey from infancy to old age in four scenes. Shortly before he died Cole began still another series, “The Cross of the World,” which was of a religious nature.

Durand's well-known painting “Kindred Spirits” (1849; New York Public Library), painted in Cole's memory the year after his death, paid tribute to Cole's close friendship with the poet William Cullen Bryant.
 

 


Thomas Cole
Expulsion from the Garden of Eden

 


see collections:


Thomas Cole


Frederic Edwin Church


Albert Bierstadt




see also:


Hiroshige - Bierstad
t

"East-West"

 

 


Albert Bierstadt



(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

born Jan. 7, 1830, near Düsseldorf, Westphalia [Germany]
died Feb. 19, 1902, New York, N.Y., U.S.


American artist who painted landscapes and whose tremendous popularity was based on his panoramic scenes of the American West. Among the last generation of painters associated with the Hudson River school, Bierstadt, like Frederick Church and Thomas Moran, covered vast distances in search of more exotic subject matter. His reputation was made by the huge canvases that resulted from his several trips to the Far West—e.g., “The Rocky Mountains” (1863; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and “Mount Corcoran” (c. 1875–77; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.). Executed in his studio in New York, the large works do not have the freshness and spontaneity of the small on-the-spot paintings from which they were produced. They are, however, immense in scale and grandiose in effect. Bierstadtfreely altered details of landscape to create the effect of awe and grandeur. His colours were applied more according to a formula than from observation: luscious, green vegetation, ice-blue water, and pale, atmospheric blue-greenmountains. The progression from foreground to background was often a dramatic one without the softness and subtlety of a middle distance.
 

   


Albert Bierstadt
A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mr. Rosalie
 

 



 


Asher Durand

born Aug. 21, 1796, Jefferson Village, N.J., U.S.
died Sept. 17, 1886, Jefferson Village

U.S. painter, engraver, and illustrator, one of the founders of the Hudson River school (q.v.) of landscape painting.
He was apprenticed in 1812 to an engraver; by 1823 his reputation was established with his engraving of John Trumbull's painting “Declaration of Independence.” For the next decade he continued to do engraved reproductions ofpaintings by American artists (e.g., “Ariadne” by John Vanderlyn). He also illustrated gift books, or annuals, and engraved a popular series of 72 portraits of famous contemporary Americans.
With his brother Cyrus Durand (1787–1868), he formed a partnership for a banknote engraving company. Cyrus invented machines for the mechanical drawing of lines that revolutionized the art of currency engraving, while Asher's graphic work for the Federal Bureau of Printing and Engraving was influential in establishing the design traditionand many of the pictorial and ornamental devices for U.S. paper currency.
After 1835 he devoted himself chiefly to portraiture, paintingseveral U.S. presidents and other Americans of political and social prominence. In 1840–41 he visited Europe to study the work of the old masters. After his return, he painted Romantic landscapes of the Hudson River area, the Adirondack Mountains, and New England in a precise style. He was among the earliest Americans to work from nature out-of-doors. His best known work, “Kindred Spirits” (1849; New York Public Library), shows two of his friends, landscape painter Thomas Cole and poet William Cullen Bryant, in a minutely realistic Catskill forest setting.
Durand was one of the founders of the National Academy of Design (1826) and was its president, 1845–61.
 

 

 

 


Asher Durand
Mrs. Winfield Scott

 

 


Asher Durand
Ariadne

 


Asher Durand

The Dance Of The Battery In The Presence Of Peter Stuyvesant

 

 


Asher Durand

The Beeches

 

 


Asher Durand

High Point: Shandaken Mountains

 

 


Asher Durand

River Scene

 

 


Asher Durand

Summer Afternoon

 


Asher Durand

Dover Plain, Dutchess County, New York

 

 

 

 

 


George Inness

born May 1, 1825, Newburgh, New York, U.S.
died August 3, 1894, Bridge of Allen, Stirling, Scotland

American painter known especially for the luminous, atmospheric quality of his late landscapes.
Inness was largely self-taught. His early works such as The Lackawanna Valley (1855) reflect the influence of Asher B. Durand and Thomas Cole, painters of the Hudson River school. From about 1855 to 1874 Inness ascended to the height of his powers with works such as the Delaware Water Gap (1861) and the Delaware Valley (1865). His characteristic small canvases from this period show that he was no longer strictly preoccupied with the carefully rendered detail of the Hudson River school but instead began to explore light and colour in the manner of Camille Corot and the French Barbizon school. Inness's increasing control over spatial relations, scale, drawing, and colour allowed him to achieve a sense of the idyllic and tranquil in his works.
From 1875 Inness's works, such as AutumnOaks (c. 1875), displayed a great concentration of feeling that presaged theascendancy of colour over form in his late works. He explored the ideas he had articulated in an article entitled “Colours and Le Correspondences,” in which he described the spiritual significance of specific colour combinations. As his mystical view of nature intensified, his pictures dissolved into shimmering colour,which was magnificent in itself and was nolonger supported by formal construction. In The Home of the Heron, painted in 1893,Inness used subtle tonal variety to suggest a hazy atmosphere; the overlapping veils of colour unite earth and sky and underscore the harmony of the universe—a tenet central to Swedenborgianism, the belief system to which he adhered.
His son George Inness, Jr., was also a painter and remained faithful to the practices of the Barbizon school and resisted Impressionism in obedience to his father's strongly expressed convictions.
 

 

 

 


George Inness

Autumn Oaks

 

 


George Inness

Peace and Plenty

 

 


George Inness

The Coming Storm

 

 


George Inness

Fisherman in a Stream

 

 


George Inness

Summer Days, Cattle Drinking Late Summer, Early Autumn
 

 


George Inness

The Storm

 

 

 

 

 


John Kensett

born March 22, 1816, Cheshire, Connecticut, U.S.
died December 14, 1872, New York, New York

American landscape painter, the leader of the second generation of the Hudson River school artists.
Kensett was trained as an engraver by his father, Thomas Kensett, and his uncle, Alfred Daggett, a banknote engraver. In 1838 Kensett went to New York City to work for a banknote company. Two years later, together with Asher B. Durand, John W. Casilear, and Thomas P. Rossiter, he went to Europe, where, in the tradition of artists of his generation, he received his artistic education by traveling, looking at pictures, and visiting leading artists in their studios. By the time Kensett returned to the United States in 1847, he had established a reputation based on paintings he had sent from Europe. In 1849 he was elected to the National Academy of Design, and he was a founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Although Kensett never lost the engraver'ssense of draftsmanship in his paintings, he focused most of his attention on the depiction of light, using colour values to render minute gradations in intensity (e.g.Storm over Lake George, 1870). His palette was low-key, and much of his work has a silvery paleness. Whether painting the White or Green mountains, the Catskills, or a lonely strip of Atlantic shoreline at Newport, Rhode Island, he conveyed a strong sense of locale throughhis careful observation of detail and his deep sensitivity to the nuances of atmosphere. The style Kensett developed has been labeled luminism by art historians, in acknowledgment of his refined handling of lightand in an attempt to link his work to the philosophical doctrines of Ralph Waldo Emerson, with whom Kensett associated from the 1870s until his death, and other Transcendentalists. He was a formidable force in the New York art world until his death, and his reputation was further reinforced by the patronage he received from America's most influential collectors.
 

 

 

 


John Kensett

Lake George

 

 


John Kensett

Summer Day on Conesus Lake

 

 


John Kensett

Gathering Storm on Long Island Sound

 

 


John Kensett

A Foggy Sky

 

 


John Kensett

Catskill Mountain Scenery
 

 

 

 


Worthington Whittredge

born May 22, 1820, Springfield, Ohio, U.S.
died February 25, 1910, Summit, New Jersey

in full Thomas Worthington Whittredge American landscape painter associated with the Hudson River school.
Whittredge, originally a house painter, took up portraiture and landscape painting about 1838. Beginning in 1849 he spent five years in Düsseldorf, Germany, and five years in Rome, where he posed for Emanuel Leutze, who used him as the model for George Washington in Washington Crossingthe Delaware (1851). In 1856 he spent time sketching in Switzerland with the painter Albert Bierstadt.
On his return to the United States in 1859, Whittredge became inspired by the varied and rich American landscape. He settled inNew York City, renting a space in the famous Tenth Street Studio, and gained almost immediate recognition. In 1860 he was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design, becoming a full member two years later. In 1866 he went on a 2,000-mile government inspection tour of the Rocky Mountains with the landscape painters John Frederick Kensett and Sanford R. Gifford. His experiences onthis journey inspired huge canvases of vast, panoramic views such as Crossing the Platte (1870). His most characteristic works are poetic forest scenes featuring depths of feathery fern and mossy rocks, infused with leaf-filtered light, e.g., Forest Interior (1881). Whittredge did not paint landscapes for nature's sake alone but rather chose places he loved, giving his works a personal sensibility. By the late 1870s, Whittredge's style changed under the influence of the then popular Hudson River school painters. He continued painting until age 83, experimenting with various styles as new fashions took hold of the New York art world. His autobiography (The Autobiography of Worthington Whittredge, 1820–1910) was first published in the Brooklyn Museum's journal and was reissued in 1969.
 

 

 

 


Worthington Whittredge

The Amphitheatre of Tusculum and Albano Mountains, Rome

 

 


Worthington Whittredge

The Trout Pool

see collections:


Thomas Cole


Frederic Edwin Church


Albert Bierstadt


see also:

Hiroshige - Bierstad
t

"East-West"
 

 

 

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