19th-century American Painting

January 4, 2015 - January 3, 2016

Explore America’s great vistas, natural wonders, and intimate settings through 19th-century American paintings. For their inspiration, painters, including Frederic E. Church, Asher B. Durand, David Johnson and Thomas Hicks hiked extensively through the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains in New York and the White Mountains in New Hampshire, making numerous sketches; capturing the settings that captivated them. Back in their studios, the artists painted idealized landscapes based on composites of their sketches. The mountain settings, pastoral scenes, and romanticized views of humans and nature in peaceful coexistence portray a reverence for America’s natural beauty.

Other artists, including John Frederick Peto and William Harnett, were masters of the trompe l’oeil technique. The detailed realism of their canvases reflects the pleasures and preoccupations of everyday life.

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New York State Council on the Arts with the support of
Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.