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Nancy Anderson

(b Solingen, Germany, Jan 7, 1830; d New York, Feb 18, 1902).

American painter of German birth. In a career spanning the entire second half of the 19th century, Bierstadt emerged as the first technically sophisticated artist to travel to the Far West of America, adapt European and Hudson River School prototypes to a new landscape and produce paintings powerful in their nationalistic and religious symbolism.

Bierstadt spent his early years in New Bedford, MA, where his family settled two years after his birth. Lacking funds for formal art instruction, he spent several years as an itinerant drawing instructor before departing in 1853 for Düsseldorf, Germany, where he hoped to study with Johann Peter Hasenclever, a distant relative and a celebrated member of the Düsseldorf art circle. Hasenclever’s death shortly before Bierstadt’s arrival altered the course of his study, for rather than finding German mentors, he responded to the generous assistance offered by fellow American artists Emanuel Leutze and Worthington Whittredge. After four years of study and travel in Germany, Switzerland and Italy, he had achieved a remarkable level of technical expertise. In ...


British, 18th – 19th century, male.

Active in the USA.

Born 1779, in London; died 1851, in Philadelphia.

Painter. Portraits, landscapes, winter landscapes, seascapes, naval battles.

Hudson River School.

Thomas Birch settled in the United States around 1793 and initially painted portraits. He later moved on to the depiction of scenes from the ...


British, 19th century, male.

Born 1 February 1801, in Bolton-le-Moors (Lancashire), England; died 11 February 1848, near Catskill (New York).

Painter, draughtsman. Landscapes with figures.


Hudson River School (related to).

Thomas Cole's parents left England when he was 18 and settled in Ohio, where his father became an upholsterer. It is said that he persuaded his father, who had just been bankrupted, to flee from English industrial civilisation to the natural wildness of America. Thomas taught himself to draw, and then left home to seek his fortune in Philadelphia. He initially tried to earn his living as an itinerant portrait painter, a common activity in the early years of American art....


Angela L. Miller

(b Bolton-le-Moor, Lancs, Feb 1, 1801; d Catskill, NY, or 11, 12).

American painter and poet of English birth. Cole was the leading figure in American landscape painting during the first half of the 19th century and had a significant influence on the painters of the Hudson River school, among them Jasper Cropsey, Asher B. Durand and Frederic Church (Cole’s only student). In the 1850s these painters revived the moralizing narrative style of landscape in which Cole had worked during the 1830s. From the 1850s the expressive, Romantic landscape manner of Cole was eclipsed by a more direct and objective rendering of nature, yet his position at the beginning of an American landscape tradition remained unchallenged (for an example of his work, see View on the Catskill—Early Autumn, 1836–37; New York, Met.).

He spent his first 17 years in Lancashire. Industrialized since the 18th century, Lancashire provided a stark contrast to the wilderness Cole encountered when he followed his family to Steubenville, OH, via Philadelphia, in ...


Phyllis Braff

(b Bolton, Lancs, Feb 12, 1837; d Santa Barbara, CA, Aug 26, 1926).

American painter, printmaker, and illustrator, of English birth. His brothers Edward (1829–1901), John (1831–1902), and Peter (1841–1914) were also artists. The family emigrated from England and settled in Philadelphia in 1844. At age 16 Moran was apprenticed to the wood-engraving firm Scattergood and Telfer, but he also began to produce watercolours that sold well. In an exchange arrangement with a book dealer, Moran acquired editions of important engravings, including Claude Lorrain’s Liber Veritatis and J. M. W. Turner’s Liber Studiorum. These served as formative influences for his career as a landscape painter, and contributed to his lifelong concern with pictorial structure and compositional devices. His study of oil painting was guided by his brother Edward, and by Edward’s acquaintance, the marine painter James Hamilton.

Moran’s interest in evocative natural settings led to a trip to Lake Superior in 1860 and to a series of paintings and prints featuring that region’s dramatic configurations of rocks and shoreline. In ...


British, 19th – 20th century, male.

Active in the USA.

Born 12 January 1837, in Bolton (Lancashire); died 25 or 26 August 1926, in Santa Barbara (California).

Painter, watercolourist, engraver, lithographer. Figures, local scenes, landscapes, landscapes with figures.

Hudson River School.

Thomas Moran was taught by his brother Edward Moran. He travelled around France, England and Italy, then went to North America and settled in New York. He was one of the key figures of the Hudson River School and was influenced by Turner. In 1871 he made his first trip to the western Yellowstone region, joining a USA Geological Institute expedition. In 1873 he went with Major John Wesley to the Grand Canyon, which became one of his favourite sources of inspiration. He also left behind views of important American sites such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion and the Teton range. Moran's landscapes are heavily imbued with a romantic and idealistic spirit. He transforms a vision of wild beauty, for example natural forms and forces aligned with bad weather, into an almost supernatural, but reasoned outburst. A fervent supporter of the early initiatives to create national parks, he is partly responsible for making Americans aware of the need to preserve their natural heritage....


John Walker Myers

(b Francestown, NH, March 9, 1832; d Granby, CT, July 30, 1928).

American painter. He began his career as a portrait painter in Boston, MA, but moved to New York in 1852 to enrol in antique and life classes at the National Academy of Design; he first exhibited there in 1855. During his studies he turned to landscape painting, becoming a successful member of the second generation of the Hudson River school. Such wilderness and marine paintings as Autumnal Snow on Mt Washington (1856; Poughkeepsie, NY, Vassar Coll., Frances Lehman Loeb A. Cent.) combine precise foreground detail with a more painterly realism in the middle- and background, following the Hudson River tradition. Inspired by the American Pre-Raphaelite movement, Shattuck produced a number of carefully observed nature studies including Leaf Study with Yellow Swallowtail (c. 1859; Santa Barbara, CA, Jo Ann and Julian Ganz jr priv. col.). Many of his works also reveal a knowledge of the Luminist aesthetic, with its concentration on soft, lyrical light and colour and a quiet, poetic evocation of nature. During the 1870s Shattuck’s subject-matter shifted from wilderness to pastoral themes, reflecting the growing taste in America for the mood of Barbizon school pictures. Because of his discontent with the art world and a dissatisfaction with his own work, complicated by a serious illness, Shattuck stopped painting in ...


Irish, 19th century, male.

Active 1826-1862.

Born 1792, in Dublin; died after 1862, probably in Dublin.

Painter (gouache), watercolourist, draughtsman. Landscapes, waterscapes.

Hudson River School.

William Guy Wall was born in Ireland, but went to New York in 1812. He is most famous for his watercolour views of the Hudson River valley, for example ...


Mark W. Sullivan

(b Dublin, 1792; d Ireland, c. 1864).

American painter of Irish birth. He arrived in New York in 1812, already well-trained as an artist and soon became famous for his sensitive watercolour views of the Hudson River Valley and environs ( see fig. ). Some of these watercolours were published as engravings by John Hill and his son John William Hill in the Hudson River Portfolio (New York, 1821–5), the first book to make Americans aware of the beauty and sublimity of their own scenery. Wall is often seen as a forerunner or early member of the Hudson River school . Good examples of his work are the Covered Bridge across the Sacandaga River, Hadley, New York (1820; New York, NY Hist. Soc.) and the View near Hudson (1822; Yonkers, NY, Hudson River Mus.). Wall was a founder-member of the National Academy of Design , New York, and exhibited frequently at such institutions as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and the Apollo Association, New York. He lived in America from ...