Hudson River School - A group of American landscape painters of the mid-nineteenth century, who took a Romantic approach to depicting the Hudson River Valley, and of the Catskill, Berkshire, and White Mountains, as well as lands further west. As the American frontier moved westward, the Hudson River painters' views of this expanding territory found an enthusiastic audience. Their pictures were often brashly theatrical, embracing moral or literary associations.
Many painters of this school were
influenced by their reading of a book, Essay on the Nature
and Principles of Taste by Archibald Alison. In his book Alison
claims that the beauty and grandeur of unspoiled nature can inspire
good moral qualities.
Examples of their works:
Thomas Birch (American, 1779-1851), The Narrows, New York Bay, 1812, oil on wood panel, 20 x 26 3/4 inches (50.8 x 68 cm), Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.
Thomas Doughty (American, 1793-1856), Denning's Point, Hudson River, c. 1839, oil on mounted canvas, 24 x 30 inches (60.96 x 76.20 cm), Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH.
Asher B. Durand (American, 1796-1886), The Beeches, 1845, oil on canvas, 60 3/8 x 48 1/8 inches (153.4 x 122.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Asher B. Durand, Kindred Spirits, 1849, oil on canvas, 44 x 36 inches. Durand represented the naturalistic strain of the Hudson River School. Kindred Spirits is a portrait in nature of the painter Thomas Cole with his friend, the poet William Cullen Bryant.
Asher Brown Durand, A River Landscape, 1858, oil on canvas, 32 x 48 inches, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.
Thomas Cole (American, 1801-1848), The Subsiding of the Waters of the Deluge, 1829, oil on canvas, 35 3/4 x 47 5/8 inches (90.8 x 121.4 cm), National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC.
Seth Eastman (American, 1808-1875), Hudson River with a Distant View of West Point (View of the Highlands from West Point), 1834, oil on canvas, 33 x 50 inches (83.82 x 127.00 cm), Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH.
John Frederick Kensett (American, 1816-1872), Sunrise among the Rocks of Paradise, Newport, 1859, oil on canvas, 18 x 30 inches (46.1 x 76.2 cm), Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA. See Luminism.
John Frederick Kensett, Rondout Creek, 1862, oil on canvas, New Britain Museum of Art, CT.
T. P. Rossiter (American, 1818-1871),
T. Worthington Whittredge (American, 1820-1910), Fight Below the Battlements, 1849, oil on canvas, Kresge Art Museum. Toward the horizon on the left side of the picture — its deepest portion -- displays Whittredge's use of aerial perspective.
W. L. Sonntag (American, 1822-1900)
Jasper Francis Cropsey (American, 1823-1900), Lake Wawayanda, Sussex County, New Jersey, 1870, oil on canvas, New Britain Museum of Art, CT.
Jasper Francis Cropsey, Sailing (The Hudson at Tappan Zee), 1883, oil on canvas, 14 x 24 inches (35.56 x 60.96 cm), Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH.
Sanford Robinson Gifford (American, 1823-1880), Kauterskill Clove, 1862, oil on canvas, 48 x 39 7/8 inches (121.9 x 101.3 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
George Inness (American, 1825-1894)
Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826-1900), The Icebergs, 1861, oil on canvas, 64 1/2 x 112 1/2 inches (163.8 x 285.8 cm), Dallas Museum of Art.
Frederic Edwin Church, In the Andes, 1878, oil on canvas, 15 3/16 x 22 3/16 inches (38.57 x 56.35 cm), Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH.
Albert Bierstadt (American, 1830-1902), The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak, 1863, oil on canvas, 73 1/2 x 120 3/4 inches (186.7 x 306.7 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
F.A. Silva (American, 1835-1886)
Thomas Moran (American, 1837-1926)
Also see allegory and Luminism.