Saturday, August 15, 2009

More luminist painting

I could go on a long time showing the luminist painters, there were a lot of them and they made a lot of wonderful art. However I will show a few more tonight and move on. My intention is to provide an overview of American landscape tradition. There are certainly readers of this blog who are not familiar with this history, . I hope to pique your interest so that you seek out and learn more about these painters on your own. Many of you though know these artists very well and I don't feel it is within the scope of my blog to "go deep" on this subject, so I hope you enjoy the slide show of artists who are old friends. I also know that in moving on now I am leaving out a number of painters , Heade, Moran and a few others in particular. If you like you can castigate me in the comments, but I do want to get to the next chapter. That would be Inness, he gets a chapter of his own. Although his tail might be found in the Hudson River school, his thorax and head stretch forward into the tonalist era. He is so unique and almost unfathomably good that I will have to dwell on him . He is the KING of American landscape painters.

The forest scene above is a William Trost Richards 1833- 1905 was an admirer of Ruskin and painted with great clarity and detail. He did a great number of watercolor seascapes in his latter years.

The painting above" The old hunting ground is by Worthington Whittridge. 1820- 1910

The guy posing for Washington was.......Worthington Whittridge. Now there is art trivia at its finest. You old pros get thrown a bone now and then on this blog too. Hers another of his paintings,

Whitteridge became best known for his pictures painted on the western plains. Below is a painting by Samuel Coleman i832-1920. Coleman later in life became a partner to Luis Comfort Tiffany.

I love that Coleman of the Hudson River. Below is another of my favorite paintings.

This painting is by a less well known luminist ( spell check recommends Leninist )who is a particular favorite of mine Jervis McEntee 1828-1891. McEntees paintings have a melancholy and reflective beauty to them that I love. As much as I appreciate the big Bierstadts and Churches, there is something about this guys art that really speaks to me. He is one of my favorite painters. I saw a show of his paintings at a gallery in New York that is now gone, but I have treasured the catalog. It is hard to find his paintings. He was a friend of Sanford Gifford and traveled extensively with him. McEntee kept extensive journals and they provide an enormous amount of information on the social and financial lives of the Hudson River school, you can read them here. ( see you in about a week) Here is another of his paintings.

The final artist that I want to show tonight is Fitz Henry (formerly Hugh, and I liked that better) Lane 1804- 1865. I know Lanes locations well. He painted in Gloucester and in Maine, both places I have lived. I have stood on many of his sites and a few such as Braces cove or Blue hill are places I have painted . Lane is the most transcendental of the luminists. His paintings have a still, ethereal unworldliness to them that makes the haunting. He also was an expert on ships and their rigging because he was the son of a sail maker and lived his adult life right on the waterfront in Gloucester. Here is a Lane. This painting is of Southwest Harbor on Mt. Desert in Maine.

One of my little hobbies is finding not only the sites at which artists painted but also their graves. Lanes is in Oak grove cemetery in Gloucester. I have found the graves of dozens of American painters in the old cemeteries of Gloucester. I guess I will go lay down now.

images this page from Artrenewal. org and the


Gregory Becker said...

Excellent post. I have to admit I am terrible with dates and I always thought that the luminist movement came before the Hudson River School.
Worthington Whittridge is a Rock Star. I love his sense of light.
I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us when it comes to Inness.

Philip Koch said...

So Worthington Whittridge posed for Washington Crossing the Delaware! Dern, if I didn't know I was in the presence of greatness before, I sure do now. Where on earth do you dig this stuff up?

Boy that is one nice forest scene by W.T. Richards you opened up with. Such a light, warm glow to it. I assumed it was by W. Whittridge, but you got me there too. It is funny but these Hudson River images really look fine on your blog. I'll bring an extra bucket of popcorn for the upcoming George Inness show.

DennyHollandStudio said...

Oh Stape, I'm enjoying these posts on the Luminist painters, some of my favorites of all time. Just finished reading a book on Inness so I'm looking forward to your take on the man. I agree with Gregory about the rock star status. How about a band of hard- core Luminists on stage a la Led Zeppelin?!

Rock on, brother.

Teri said...

Hi! Do you know of American artist Robert Wood? i was wondering if there is a book about him? Thank you for your site.

Gregory Becker said...

I have a technical question...
Whenever I stand at the edge of a lake I notice that all of the reflections point to the spot I am standing on.
They all converge as they come toward me. They disipate before they converge.
Why dont most painters represent that effect? They just paint them straight down. Is it something that most people dont notice?

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am glad we have that straightened out! Inness starts tonight.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I think paintings look so much better on my monitor than in a book. I would like to have a big flat screen TV by my easel.
Guess I need to sell some art first. What a stupid way to make a living!

Stapleton Kearns said...

I wonder which book you read. I have the old cfrom the National gallery show I saw about 20 years ago and it is my favorite. There is a book on Amazon on Inness and the science of design (aprox. title) I am going to buy.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I do know Robert Wood. He was a Texas and a California artist.Very popular in his day and sold about a zillion prints of autumn streams, in Woolworths whenm I was a kid. Stay out of motel rooms that still have them.. Amazon has a book on him.

The Last Mountain: The Life of Robert Wood (Hardcover)

Stapleton Kearns said...

Gregory: It may be something that I haven't noticed too. Got a photo?
There is a PDF file of an old book here

of an old text on water and reflections. I have not read it, Although I keep telling myself I will. It appears to cover everything about reflections. That URL is to a site run by the Hudson River fellowship, by the way. Check that out.

jeff said...

Great post on some great painters.

Inness is the best, I saw some of his work recently up in Williamstown, MA and he always amazes me in the way he creates so much with so little.

My other all time favorite is Moran.

Speaking of the Hudson River Fellowship Jacob Collins has been doing some amazing paintings in the Hudson River and Luminist tradition.

Another painter and a former student of Collin's is Edward Minoff check out his Seascapes.