Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Don't Forget the Hudson River School

My sister Betty suggested a painting by Frederic Church or one of the other works of the The Hudson River School in my search for the Great American Painting. Rightly so, these wildly romantic painters known as the Hudson River School worshipped nature in the drama of the American landscape. Like their contemporaries, the great 19th century American writers, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, these artists inspired the early conservation movement in America.
Twilight Wilderness by Frederic Church, Oil on Canvas, 1860

"Some paintings seem to bear their nationality on their faces. 
Church's Twilight in the Wilderness could only, I feel, be American. 
Church specialized in works of sheer vastness of the American continent."


  1. When I married Bryn, I knew my world was changing the minute he started waxing on about those damn Hudson River School Painters. I had been brought up in a family that worshipped Edvard Munch. Now, dutiful bride, I was learning about...gasp...sappy realism and light. What was next - Thom Kinkade? But soon I realized my eyes had needed that lesson. The HRS was a bunch of terribly talented artist nerds who really did make a difference. Or so they tell me. Anyway, I still prefer The Scream, but actually, after 25 years of this brainwashing, I do appreciate the skills of these old dudes. It's beautiful. Sigh.

  2. R. Aren't you related to Munch or something? I'm thinking maybe I should invite you to write a "guest post" on my blog. Nothing big, just a couple short paragraphs and 1 or 2 images... Maybe one painting by him and one by you and something about his influence? Would you want to?