Why Do I Suck Essay

840 words - 3 pages

Artist: John F. Kensett
Title & Date: Bash-Bish Falls 1855 oil on canvas
Notes: Due to his generosity and compassion, John F. Kensett was one of the most admired of the Hudson River School painters. He led fundraising efforts for the National Academy in 1863 - an institution which provided valuable support for emerging artists. He was also a founding member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1870. Rather than focusing on the detailed accuracy of a scene, Kensett's later paintings (typically calm bodies of water) were more preoccupied with light and its effects - hence his reputation for painting in the Luminist manner. In this earlier work, however, the artist focuses on details of rock and water, composing the scene with pairs of inverted triangles to anchor the view. Note that Bash-Bish Falls is in S. Egremont, MA, just 10 miles north of Hotchkiss, and remains a popular destination for day hikers.
Artist: Frederick Edwin Church
Title & Date: Grand Manan, Sunrise off the Coast of Maine 1863 oil on canvas
Notes: Church was perhaps the most traveled artist of this period. While he eventually settled in an estate of his own design on a mount overlooking the Hudson River (Olana in Hudson, NY), he spent much of his active career exploring the globe. He was the manifestation of the artist-explorer, a truly romantic figure willing to risk personal safety in pursuit of images powerful enough to evoke the effect of his experiences in viewers back home. Here he places us directly in the foaming surf, staring into a gleaming sunrise. This image is in the collection of the Wadsworth Athenaeum.
Artist: Frederick Edwin Church
Title & Date: Niagara 1857 oil on canvas (42"x 89")
Notes: Again, Church places the viewer directly in this scene of tremendous energy and drama. Earlier images of Niagara situated the viewer far below and looking up at the falls from a distance. Not so with Church. Here we are literally standing in the water. The ragged branch in the left foreground adds a sense of scale. This painting was sent to the Paris Universal Exposition in 1867 and won an award, finally helping to secure a reputation for American painters on par with their European counterparts.
Artist: Frederick Edwin Church
Title & Date: Cotopaxi 1862 oil on canvas
Notes: This powerful interpretation of a volcanic eruption in Ecuador, Cotopaxi, was viewed by many as a representation of the upheaval and destruction of America's Civil War. At four feet by seven feet, such "grand paintings" were intended to astound and entertain. Church was certainly...

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