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George Inness

"The Father of American Landscape Painting"

1825-1894

American Landscape Painter of the Hudson River School

Stylistically influenced by the following painters and movements - European Symbolism J.M.W. Turner, Thomas ColeAsher B. Durand and  Eugene Delacroix

Education - Primarily Self-taught

Physical Health - He suffered from epilepsy since childhood.

Cause of Death - Heart Attack, he died in Scotland

One of the Greatest Painters Of All Time


George Inness Art Quotes


"The purpose of the painter is simply to reproduce in other minds the impression which a scene has made upon him. A work of art does not appeal to the intellect. It does not appeal to the moral sense. Its aim is to instruct, not to edify, but to awaken an emotion." -- George Inness  quote

 Artist Bio

George Inness  received no formal education in art but traveled many times to Europe. While in France, Italy and England he met many influential painters and gleaned a wealth of knowledge which influenced the style of his work. He is best known for his later works, landscapes influenced by the ideas of Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg. The philosopher wrote that "For the spiritual sense of the Word treats everywhere of the spiritual world, that is, of the state of the church in the heavens, as well as in the earth; hence the Word is spiritual and Divine."

George Inness's landscape paintings changed from his more realistic Hudson River period to a luscious and luminous style with evocative atmospheric effects featuring misty backgrounds illuminated by moonlight.

Important Artists Associated With The Hudson River School
 
Albert Bierstadt American 1830-1902
Thomas Cole, American, 1801-1848
Herman Herzog German, 1831-1932
Thomas Hill, English, 1829-1908
Thomas Moran English born American1837-1926
George Inness American, 1825-1894 
Frederic Edwin Church, American, 1826-1900
George Loring Brown, American, 1814-1889
Thomas Chambers, English, 1808-1866
Asher B. Durand, American, 1796-1886

The Hudson River School

1825-1875

Throughout the history of the United States, the American wilderness has been fundamentally important in creating a national identity.  The Hudson River School was a mid-19th century American art movement founded by Thomas Cole in 1825. Using the river as inspiration, these painters were celebrated for their realistic depictions of the regions stunning and distinctive landscape. Their radiant, majestic style was influenced by European romanticism. The artists shared common design aesthetics uniting them as a school despite their distinctive styles. The painters focused on the American wilderness, particularly the Hudson River Valley as well as the Catskill Mountains and Adirondack Mountains. The paintings were spectacular and dramatic reflecting the wilderness environment. The artists moved their studios out of doors and sketched directly from nature focusing on the drama of light and shadow. Many paintings depict a  rugged landscape, dramatic sunrise or ominous storm clouds brewing in the distance. The works were painstakingly detailed and celebrate Gods divine handiwork in nature.




  


At the Mill Falls, c.1862, Hermann Ottomar Herzog

The Hudson River School was a mid-19th century American art movement founded by Thomas Cole in 1825. The style was influenced by European romanticism. The artists shared common design aesthetics uniting them as a school despite their distinctive styles. The painters focused on the American wilderness, particularly the Hudson River Valley as well as the Catskill Mountains and Adirondack Mountains. The paintings were spectacular and dramatic reflecting the wilderness environment. The artists moved their studios out of doors and sketched directly from nature focusing on the drama of light and shadow. Many paintings depict a  rugged landscape, dramatic sunrise or ominous storm clouds brewing in the distance. The works were painstakingly detailed and celebrate Gods divine handiwork in nature.


The mid 1850s was a time of unprecedented development for the young nation, and the Hudson River painters depicted the vastness and beautify of a country proud of its natural resources. They embraced nature and showed a remarkable attention to detail within the natural landscape. This school popularized the idea of  Manifest Destiny and came to symbolize American vitality, independence and nationalism. As city life became increasingly chaotic, landscape painting be came increasingly popular with the buying public. Almost every upper-middle class Victorian home had at least one picturesque landscape hanging in the parlor. The paintings were looked upon as a scenic oasis and a visual retreat from modern life. Today, works by the Hudson River school artists are treasured as the first uniquely American school of art and for their beauty and significance to art, history and culture.

Characteristics, terms, words of the the Hudson River School-  unspoiled nature, atmospheric lighting, primeval landscape, theatrical, Catskill, Berkshire, White Mountains, Walt Whitman, American Transcendentalists, spiritual transformation, dramatic instincts, large scale canvasses, Luminist, Romantic school, wilderness, New York, symbolic language, realism,  Western Expansion and Manifest Destiny.

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