Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Frederic Church


all images art renewal .org
Frederic Church 1826-1900 was the son of a wealthy businessman from Hartford Connecticut. He became Thomas Coles only student for two years. Frederick Church and his fellow artists from the 10th st. Studio became the second generation of the Hudson River school, referred to as the luminist painters..

This is the 10th street studios in New York where most of the Hudson River school worked in the winter. In the summer they traveled to New Hampshire and up the Hudson and eventually to the west in search of material from which to build their paintings in the studio.

Church perfected a style of tight landscape that was dramatic, fabulously detailed botanically accurate.Below is his masterpiece Heart of the Andes. After traveling to South America, Church painted this five foot high by ten foot long view and exhibited it in a frame with curtains that was intended to give the effect of looking out a window. He lit the picture and sourounded it with appropriate tropical plants he had brought back with him from the Andes.

The painting, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art amazed the New York of 1859. It was common in that era for artists tom rent a hall and display an enormous painting or diorama of scenery and charge the public admission to see it.Church made several trips to south America here is another of the giant South American canvases, Cotopaxi.

Church traveled to the Mediterranean and the Middle East in search of subjects and then to England to examine the art of Turner. Here is his painting of the Parthenon. It may not look like a show stopper in this tiny photo, but in real life this painting is astounding, I have stood before it bewildered and entranced.


Above is one of his new England images, a sunset in the White mountains.


Late in life, Rheumatism made it harder for him to paint and he turned his attention to building a Moorish palace of his own design called Olana. The house overlooking the Hudson, is preserved and open to the public.

Here are a couple of pictures from the Cape Cod workshop.



A half dozen students and I painted on the beaches of Cape Cod in PERFECT weather . I everyone enjoyed it, I certainly did. In the mornings I did a demo and then in the afternoon I ran from easel to easel doing individual critiques. I had a great group of students and we worked real hard.

The September workshop is starting to fill. It will be in the hills of New Hampshire on September 19,20 and 21. You can sign up here.

14 comments:

Chris said...

Stape, you're a champ. The history lesson you're posting is inspiring and important for all of us, IMHO. The examples you've chosen make Church's work look absolutely primeval and astonishing! I'm waiting for each new post with great anticipation. Thank you!!

Bob Carter said...

Hi Stape-
Great workshop! It was terrific getting to know you and picking up so many tips that are going to become a part of my regular procedure. I want to thank you particularly for the tutorial you gave me on wave anatomy at Marconi Beach (shown in the posted picture). That study is going to be a permanent reference piece for me going forward. For those thinking of taking one of your workshops, I would say if you like the blog you'll love the the real thing. Some of your one-liners are worth whole books. Hope to see you again soon. in the meantime, the blog will have to do.
-Bob

Simone said...

Another good post, Stapleton, I saw "Heart of the Andes" at the Met last Christmas. It shares gallery space with a Bierstadt that is equally amazing. I saw a traveling Church exhibit in Tampa which showed his pencil sketches and oil studies. There was also a small scale unfinished canvas. Still it was hard to tell much about his procedure. Do you know much about his typical approach? What kind of under painting he usually did?

mariandioguardi.com said...

Hi Everybody,
The Thomas Cole House, Olana (Church's House)and the views are all still there, only three hours away from Boston in the Hudson River Valley and open to visitors.
I try to make a pilgrimage every year. Last year a group of painting friends and me arranged for our own tour. It's a very special thing to see an artist's work in situ, especially someone as formidable as Cole and Church. Olana is a piece of art in itself. Enjoy.

Philip Koch said...

Reading this post on Church was great- I feel like a little kid at story hour in school. Love the reproductions and was amazed to see the photo of the studio building in NYC. Where on earth did you dig that up? It was later torn down, wasn't it?

At his best Church can be a pretty amazing painter!

einbildungskraft said...

Hi, I just landed on your gilbert stuart entry and left a message, thought I would leave one here cause if you are like me, sometimes I forget or don't notice that someone has commented on a past entry...
have a good day Beth

Jeremy Elder said...

I have always loved Church's work - I can't begin to imagine how wonderful it must be in person.

Thanks for the other lesson too: when sick, build palace.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Chris:
Thank you.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Bob;
Thanks, I had a great time out there. along with a few beachgoers. Theres my Cape Cod vacation for this year. I enjoyed meeting you.
.........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Simone;
I have read a little about his methods, I probably know enough to do a non authoritative post. I will do that out there in the future,
..........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Marian
When do I get to build a mansion?
........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Philip:
I returned to the studio story tonight.
.....Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

ein:
Wow, I saw your blog. Thats pretty cool.Too little attention is paid Stuart.
.............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Jeremy:
It helps to marry a wealthy bride before your rheumatism sets in.
..........Stape