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Published on October 2, 2007

Author: The_Rock

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The Hudson River School :  The Hudson River School American Art 1820-1870 Donna M. Campbell, Washington State University Note: Unfortunately, this slide show does not work well in Firefox. Use Internet Explorer if you want to see all the pictures and notes. Background: pre-1825:  Background: pre-1825 Portraiture European influence American “Naive” style Flat design, spare painting (Ammi Phillips, 1788-1865) Landscapes Often appear as detail of portraiture: property seen through an open window indicates wealth Washington Allston’s imaginary landscapes European influence::  European influence: John Singleton Copley, Paul Revere, 1768 Naïve style:  Naïve style Ammi Phillips, Portrait of Harriet Campbell, 1815 Naïve style:  Naïve style Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom (1834) Formal Principles:  Formal Principles Not merely topographic but interpretive and poetic views of nature Formal composition and attention to detail Depictions of harmony in nature Subjects:  Subjects “Home in the Wilderness” Juncture of civilization and wilderness: “Wilderness on the doorstep” Incursions of civilization and progress Thomas Cole, The Hunter’s Return (1845):  Thomas Cole, The Hunter’s Return (1845) Thomas Cole, Home in the Woods (1847):  Thomas Cole, Home in the Woods (1847) Thomas Cole, Daniel Boone Sitting at the Door of his Cabin on the Great Osage Lake, Kentucky, 1826:  Thomas Cole, Daniel Boone Sitting at the Door of his Cabin on the Great Osage Lake, Kentucky, 1826 Thomas Doughty, Home on the Hudson :  Thomas Doughty, Home on the Hudson Style:  Style Juxtaposition of elements Use of panoramic views and small human figures to show immensity of nature and insignificance of human beings Distant or elevated perspective for the viewer Symbolic use of light and darkness Contrast of diverse elements to show the unity of nature Thomas Cole, Scene from Last of the Mohicans”: Cora Kneeling at the Feet of Tamenund (1827) :  Thomas Cole, Scene from Last of the Mohicans”: Cora Kneeling at the Feet of Tamenund (1827) E. C. Coates, West Point (1855):  E. C. Coates, West Point (1855) Thomas Cole, The Clove, Catskills (1827):  Thomas Cole, The Clove, Catskills (1827) Sublime, Beautiful, Picturesque:  Sublime, Beautiful, Picturesque Longinus, On the Sublime (AD 50) Resulting from spirit--a spark from writer to reader--rather than technique Edmund Burke, Philosophical Inquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757-1759) Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment (1790) Beauty is finite; the sublime is infinite The Beautiful:  The Beautiful Feminine qualities Harmony Sociability Pastels Sensual curves Burke on the Sublime:  Burke on the Sublime Painful idea creates a sublime passion Sublime concentrates the mind on a single facet of experience, producing a momentary suspension of rational activity Harsh, antisocial, “masculine” representations exist in the realm of obscurity and brute force The Sublime :  The Sublime “Agreeable horror” results from portrayals of threatening objects Greater aesthetic value if the pain producing the effect is imaginary rather than real Feelings of awe at sublime nature the aim of certain kinds of art Influenced Poe, the “Graveyard School” of poetry, and Gothic novels Thomas Moran, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1872:  Thomas Moran, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1872 Albert Bierstadt, A Storm in the Rocky Mountains (1866):  Albert Bierstadt, A Storm in the Rocky Mountains (1866) Picturesque:  Picturesque Intermediate category between the sublime and the beautiful Allowed the painter to organize nature into what Pope called a “wild civility” William Gilpin: illustrated tours in the 1790s established the conventions Characteristics of the Picturesque:  Characteristics of the Picturesque Ruggedness and asymmetry Irregularity of line Contrasts of light and shadow Landscape as a rundown Arcadia Ruined towers, fractured rocks Mossy banks and winding streams Blighted or twisted trees Appeal to nostalgia for preindustrial age Thomas Cole, Roman Campagna (Ruins of Aqueducts in the Campagna di Roma), 1843:  Thomas Cole, Roman Campagna (Ruins of Aqueducts in the Campagna di Roma), 1843 The Hudson River School:  The Hudson River School Thomas Cole (1801-1848) Asher B. Durand (1796-1886) Thomas Doughty (1793-1856) John William Casilear Thomas Cole (1801-1848):  Thomas Cole (1801-1848) Discovered in 1825 by John Trumbull, William Dunlap Asher B. Durand “The subject of art should be pure and lofty . . .a moral, religious, or poetic effect must be produced on the mind.” Thomas Cole:  Thomas Cole Lake with Dead Trees (1825) The painting that made Cole famous. Allegorical and realistic landscapes: The Voyage of Life (Childhood) , 1842 :  Allegorical and realistic landscapes: The Voyage of Life (Childhood) , 1842 Thomas Cole, A View of the Mountain Pass Called the Notch of the White Mountains (Crawford Notch), 1839:  Thomas Cole, A View of the Mountain Pass Called the Notch of the White Mountains (Crawford Notch), 1839 Thomas Cole, The Ox-Bow (1836):  Thomas Cole, The Ox-Bow (1836) Asher B. Durand (1796-1886):  Asher B. Durand (1796-1886) Began as an engraver; turned to painting “Letters on Landscape Painting” (1855) in The Crayon “Go first to nature to learn to paint landscape.” Asher B. Durand, Hudson River Scene (1846):  Asher B. Durand, Hudson River Scene (1846) Asher B. Durand, Kindred Spirits (1849):  Asher B. Durand, Kindred Spirits (1849) Thomas Cole and William Cullen Bryant See Bryant’s “To Cole, the Painter, Departing for Europe.” John William Casilear, View on Lake George, 1857 :  John William Casilear, View on Lake George, 1857 Panoramists and Luminists:  Panoramists and Luminists Second Generation of Hudson River school Style of Hudson River painters applied to other regions: Rocky Mountains South America Practitioners:  Practitioners Jasper Cropsey (1823-1900) Frederic E. Church (1826-1900) John Frederick Kensett (1816-1873) George Inness (1825-1894) Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) Jasper Cropsey (1823-1900):  Jasper Cropsey (1823-1900) Imitator of Cole’s allegorical works Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress: Sixty large scenes unrolled to music and lectures. Panorama was eight feet high by 850’ long. Entire presentation took about two hours. Jasper Cropsey, Palisades at Sunset (Spyten Duyvil):  Jasper Cropsey, Palisades at Sunset (Spyten Duyvil) Jasper Cropsey, Gates of the Hudson :  Jasper Cropsey, Gates of the Hudson Jasper Cropsey, Autumn on the Hudson (1860):  Jasper Cropsey, Autumn on the Hudson (1860) Frederick Edwin Church:  Frederick Edwin Church Thomas Cole’s major pupil Full-length “showpiece” landscapes Falls of Niagara (1857) Heart of the Andes (1859) Landscape as symbol of divine American continent as new Eden Painted from nature, not notes and sketches Frederick Edwin Church, Falls of Niagara (1857):  Frederick Edwin Church, Falls of Niagara (1857) Compare this painting with a photograph taken near the same spot in 2000. The Heart of the Andes (1859):  The Heart of the Andes (1859) Frederic Edwin Church, Twilight in the Wilderness (1860):  Frederic Edwin Church, Twilight in the Wilderness (1860) George Inness (1825-1894):  George Inness (1825-1894) The Lackawanna Valley (1855) Landscape meditation on relation of man and nature Harmonious integration of man’s progress and landscape Unlike Cole: “A work of art does not appeal to the moral sense. Its aim is not to instruct and edify, but to awaken an emotion.” George Inness, The Lackawanna Valley, 1855:  George Inness, The Lackawanna Valley, 1855 W. L. Sonntag, Afternoon on the Hudson (1855):  W. L. Sonntag, Afternoon on the Hudson (1855) Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902):  Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) One of first major artists to explore the West The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak (1863) A Storm in the Rocky Mountains (1866) Yosemite Valley (1875) Albert Bierstadt, The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak, 1863 :  Albert Bierstadt, The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak, 1863 Albert Bierstadt, A Storm in the Rocky Mountains (1866):  Albert Bierstadt, A Storm in the Rocky Mountains (1866) Albert Bierstadt, Yosemite Valley (1875):  Albert Bierstadt, Yosemite Valley (1875) John Quidor (1801-1881) :  John Quidor (1801-1881) Not of the Hudson River school Created dreamlike, fanciful interpretations of literary scenes Artisan-painter: uses bright, ornamental colors The Return of Rip Van Winkle (c.1849):  The Return of Rip Van Winkle (c.1849) Illustration from The Pioneers:  Illustration from The Pioneers Note on Sources:  Note on Sources Among the sources used: E. P. Richardson, Painting in America Ellwood C. Parry, Art of Thomas Cole John K. Howatt, The Hudson River and Its Painters General knowledge about Hudson River school Burke, Kant, Longinus Pictures are mostly from Sandra Hildreth’s site (used with permission) Web sites on the Hudson River School:  Web sites on the Hudson River School The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Brief discussion of the school from “I hear America Singing” at pbs.org Index of Hudson River paintings (many images) The Artfact site has a brief description of the school and links to many of the lesser-known painters. More paintings and links from artlex.com The Albany Institute has images of paintings by Cole, Durand, and others. Hudson River School entry from Wikipedia. A project by Kathleen Hogan (American Studies) at the University of Virginia discusses Alexis de Tocqueville and the Hudson River School. The New-York Historical Society site features an essay on the school and a description of the museum’s current exhibition on New York paintings, which runs through February 2006.

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