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The Hudson River School American Art 1820-1870 Donna M. Campbell, Washington State University Note: Unfortunately, this slide show does not work well.

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Presentation on theme: "The Hudson River School American Art 1820-1870 Donna M. Campbell, Washington State University Note: Unfortunately, this slide show does not work well."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The Hudson River School American Art 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.

3 Background: pre-1825 Portraiture Portraiture –European influence –American “Naive” style  Flat design, spare painting (Ammi Phillips, ) Landscapes Landscapes –Often appear as detail of portraiture: property seen through an open window indicates wealth –Washington Allston’s imaginary landscapes

4 European influence: John Singleton Copley, Paul Revere, 1768 John Singleton Copley, Paul Revere, 1768

5 Naïve style Ammi Phillips, Portrait of Harriet Campbell, 1815 Ammi Phillips, Portrait of Harriet Campbell, 1815

6 Naïve style Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom (1834) Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom (1834)

7 Formal Principles Not merely topographic but interpretive and poetic views of nature Not merely topographic but interpretive and poetic views of nature Formal composition and attention to detail Formal composition and attention to detail Depictions of harmony in nature Depictions of harmony in nature

8 Subjects “Home in the Wilderness” “Home in the Wilderness” Juncture of civilization and wilderness: “Wilderness on the doorstep” Juncture of civilization and wilderness: “Wilderness on the doorstep” Incursions of civilization and progress Incursions of civilization and progress

9 Thomas Cole, The Hunter’s Return (1845)

10 Thomas Cole, Home in the Woods (1847)

11 Thomas Cole, Daniel Boone Sitting at the Door of his Cabin on the Great Osage Lake, Kentucky, 1826

12 Thomas Doughty, Home on the Hudson

13 Style Juxtaposition of elements 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 Distant or elevated perspective for the viewer Symbolic use of light and darkness Symbolic use of light and darkness Contrast of diverse elements to show the unity of nature Contrast of diverse elements to show the unity of nature

14 Thomas Cole, Scene from Last of the Mohicans”: Cora Kneeling at the Feet of Tamenund (1827)

15 E. C. Coates, West Point (1855)

16 Thomas Cole, The Clove, Catskills (1827)

17 Sublime, Beautiful, Picturesque Longinus, On the Sublime (AD 50) 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 ( ) Edmund Burke, Philosophical Inquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful ( ) Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment (1790) Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment (1790) –Beauty is finite; the sublime is infinite

18 The Beautiful Feminine qualities Feminine qualities Harmony Harmony Sociability Sociability Pastels Pastels Sensual curves Sensual curves

19 Burke on the Sublime Painful idea creates a sublime passion Painful idea creates a sublime passion Sublime concentrates the mind on a single facet of experience, producing a momentary suspension of rational activity 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 Harsh, antisocial, “masculine” representations exist in the realm of obscurity and brute force

20 The Sublime “Agreeable horror” results from portrayals of threatening objects “Agreeable horror” results from portrayals of threatening objects Greater aesthetic value if the pain producing the effect is imaginary rather than real 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 Feelings of awe at sublime nature the aim of certain kinds of art Influenced Poe, the “Graveyard School” of poetry, and Gothic novels Influenced Poe, the “Graveyard School” of poetry, and Gothic novels Poe Poe

21 Thomas Moran, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1872

22 Albert Bierstadt, A Storm in the Rocky Mountains (1866)

23 Picturesque Intermediate category between the sublime and the beautiful Intermediate category between the sublime and the beautiful Allowed the painter to organize nature into what Pope called a “wild civility” Allowed the painter to organize nature into what Pope called a “wild civility” William Gilpin: illustrated tours in the 1790s established the conventions William Gilpin: illustrated tours in the 1790s established the conventions

24 Characteristics of the Picturesque Ruggedness and asymmetry Ruggedness and asymmetry Irregularity of line Irregularity of line Contrasts of light and shadow Contrasts of light and shadow Landscape as a rundown Arcadia Landscape as a rundown Arcadia –Ruined towers, fractured rocks –Mossy banks and winding streams –Blighted or twisted trees Appeal to nostalgia for preindustrial age Appeal to nostalgia for preindustrial age

25 Thomas Cole, Roman Campagna (Ruins of Aqueducts in the Campagna di Roma), 1843

26 The Hudson River School Thomas Cole ( ) Thomas Cole ( ) Asher B. Durand ( ) Asher B. Durand ( ) Thomas Doughty ( ) Thomas Doughty ( ) John William Casilear John William Casilear

27 Thomas Cole ( ) Discovered in 1825 by Discovered in 1825 by –John Trumbull, –William Dunlap –Asher B. Durand “The subject of art should “The subject of art should be pure and lofty...a moral, be pure and lofty...a moral, religious, or poetic effect must be produced on the mind.”

28 Thomas Cole Lake with Dead Trees ( 1825) Lake with Dead Trees ( 1825) The painting that made Cole famous. The painting that made Cole famous.

29 Allegorical and realistic landscapes: The Voyage of Life (Childhood), 1842 Allegorical and realistic landscapes: The Voyage of Life (Childhood), 1842

30 Thomas Cole, A View of the Mountain Pass Called the Notch of the White Mountains (Crawford Notch), 1839

31 Thomas Cole, The Ox-Bow (1836)

32 Asher B. Durand ( ) Began as an engraver; turned to painting Began as an engraver; turned to painting “Letters on Landscape Painting” (1855) in The Crayon “Letters on Landscape Painting” (1855) in The Crayon “Go first to nature to learn to paint landscape.” “Go first to nature to learn to paint landscape.”

33 Asher B. Durand, Hudson River Scene (1846)

34 Asher B. Durand, Kindred Spirits (1849) Thomas Cole and William Cullen Bryant Thomas Cole and William Cullen Bryant See Bryant’s “To Cole, the Painter, Departing for Europe.” See Bryant’s “To Cole, the Painter, Departing for Europe.”

35 John William Casilear, View on Lake George, 1857

36 Panoramists and Luminists Second Generation of Hudson River school Second Generation of Hudson River school Style of Hudson River painters applied to other regions: Style of Hudson River painters applied to other regions: –Rocky Mountains –South America

37 Practitioners Jasper Cropsey ( ) Jasper Cropsey ( ) Frederic E. Church ( ) Frederic E. Church ( ) John Frederick Kensett ( ) John Frederick Kensett ( ) George Inness ( ) George Inness ( ) Albert Bierstadt ( ) Albert Bierstadt ( )

38 Jasper Cropsey ( ) Imitator of Cole’s allegorical works Imitator of Cole’s allegorical works Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress : 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.

39 Jasper Cropsey, Palisades at Sunset (Spyten Duyvil)

40 Jasper Cropsey, Gates of the Hudson

41 Jasper Cropsey, Autumn on the Hudson (1860)

42 Frederick Edwin Church Thomas Cole’s major pupil Thomas Cole’s major pupil Full-length “showpiece” landscapes Full-length “showpiece” landscapes – Falls of Niagara (1857) – Heart of the Andes (1859) Landscape as symbol of divine Landscape as symbol of divine American continent as new Eden American continent as new Eden Painted from nature, not notes and sketches Painted from nature, not notes and sketches

43 Frederick Edwin Church, Falls of Niagara (1857) Compare this painting with a photograph taken near the same spot in Compare this painting with a photograph taken near the same spot in 2000.

44 The Heart of the Andes (1859)

45 Frederic Edwin Church, Twilight in the Wilderness (1860)

46 George Inness ( ) The Lackawanna Valley (1855) 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.” 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.”

47 George Inness, The Lackawanna Valley, 1855

48 W. L. Sonntag, Afternoon on the Hudson (1855)

49 Albert Bierstadt ( ) One of first major artists to explore the West One of first major artists to explore the West The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak ( 1863) The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak ( 1863) A Storm in the Rocky Mountains (1866) A Storm in the Rocky Mountains (1866) Yosemite Valley ( 1875) Yosemite Valley ( 1875)

50 Albert Bierstadt, The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak, 1863

51 Albert Bierstadt, A Storm in the Rocky Mountains (1866)

52 Albert Bierstadt, Yosemite Valley (1875)

53 John Quidor ( ) Not of the Hudson River school Not of the Hudson River school Created dreamlike, fanciful interpretations of literary scenes Created dreamlike, fanciful interpretations of literary scenes Artisan-painter: uses bright, ornamental colors Artisan-painter: uses bright, ornamental colors

54 The Return of Rip Van Winkle (c.1849)

55 Illustration from The Pioneers

56 Note on Sources Among the sources used: 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) Sandra Hildreth’s site Sandra Hildreth’s site

57 Web sites on the Hudson River School The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.Metropolitan Museum of Art.Metropolitan Museum of Art. Brief discussion of the school from “I hear America Singing” at pbs.org Brief discussion of the school from “I hear America Singing” at pbs.org“I hear America Singing” at pbs.org“I hear America Singing” at pbs.org Index of Hudson River paintings (many images) Index of Hudson River paintings (many images) Index of Hudson River paintings Index of Hudson River paintings The Artfact site has a brief description of the school and links to many of the lesser-known painters. The Artfact site has a brief description of the school and links to many of the lesser-known painters.Artfact site Artfact site More paintings and links from artlex.com More paintings and links from artlex.com More paintings and links More paintings and links The Albany Institute has images of paintings by Cole, Durand, and others. The Albany Institute has images of paintings by Cole, Durand, and others.Albany Institute Albany Institute Hudson River School entry from Wikipedia. Hudson River School entry from Wikipedia. Hudson River School entry Hudson River School entry A project by Kathleen Hogan (American Studies) at the University of Virginia discusses Alexis de Tocqueville and the Hudson River School. A project by Kathleen Hogan (American Studies) at the University of Virginia discusses Alexis de Tocqueville and the Hudson River School.project by Kathleen Hogan (American Studies) project by Kathleen Hogan (American Studies) 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 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.New-York Historical Society site New-York Historical Society site


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