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American, 19th century, male.

Born 2 February 1814, in Boston; died 25 June 1889, in Malden (Massachusetts).

Painter, engraver (wood/copper). Genre scenes, landscapes, waterscapes.

Hudson River School.

Before going to Europe, where he studied in Paris and Florence, George Loring Brown illustrated children's books in Boston. He later returned to Boston and settled there in ...

Article

John Driscoll

(b New York, June 25, 1811; d Saratoga Springs, NY, Aug 17, 1893).

American engraver, draughtsman and painter. At 15 he was apprenticed to the engraver Peter Maverick (1780–1871) and then to Asher B. Durand. Casilear and his brother George formed a business partnership that eventually developed into the American Bank Note Co., the principal private bank-note engravers in America. He was perhaps the most fluent and accomplished draughtsman of his generation, and important collections of his landscape drawings are in the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Casilear was an exponent of the Hudson River school of landscape painting. Such works as Lake George (1860; Hartford, CT, Wadsworth Atheneum) and his views of Genesee Valley, NY, and Niagara Falls manifest the refined colour, restrained brushwork and ordered composition typical of that group. Casilear’s compositions are firmly drawn and articulated through a subtle palette that explores the value and saturation of hues.

In 1833 Casilear was elected an Associate at the National Academy of Design, New York, based on his engravings and in ...

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 1796, in Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania); died 1872, in Jersey City (New Jersey).

Painter (gouache), watercolourist, draughtsman, illustrator, lithographer. Portraits, genre scenes, local scenes, hunting scenes, animals, landscapes.

Hudson River School.

George Catlin was educated as a lawyer and practised in Philadelphia for two years. He then turned to art study and became a portrait painter in New York City. In the 1820s he decided that he would make it his life's work to record the life and culture of American Indians living on the Plains and in ...

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 1793, in Philadelphia; died 1856, in New York.

Painter, lithographer. Genre scenes, landscapes.

Hudson River School.

Until the age of 30, Thomas Doughty worked as a currier for a leather merchant. He then studied painting from 1814 to 1820. He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in ...

Article

J. Gray Sweeney

(b Springfield Township, NJ, Aug 21, 1796; d Maplewood, NJ, Sept 17, 1886).

American painter and engraver. Durand has long been considered a key figure of the Hudson River school of American landscape painting. Durand was born into a working-class family, the eighth of eleven children, in Maplewood, NJ (then called Jefferson Village), and died in his father’s house at age 90. His father was a watchmaker and silversmith, and in 1812 Durand was apprenticed to the engraver Peter Rushton Maverick. Durand achieved his first success by engraving John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence (1823), and he engraved Ariadne (1835) after John Vanderlyn’s painting (1812). He also was commissioned to engrave banknotes. In 1825 he played an important role in organizing the New York Drawing Association, which eventually became the National Academy of Design. He remained active in the Academy’s affairs throughout his career. Durand first began painting in the 1830s, producing portraits of leading historical and literary figures. In ...

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 21 August 1796, in Jefferson Village, now Maplewood (New Jersey); died 17 December 1886, in Maplewood (New Jersey).

Painter, engraver. History painting, portraits, genre scenes, landscapes, landscapes with figures.

Hudson River School.

Asher Brown Durand, a remarkable artist from a French family that fled to America at the time of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, was a founder of the American National Academy of Design, and served as its president ...

Article

John Driscoll

(b Cheshire, CT, March 22, 1816; d New York, Dec 14, 1872).

American painter and engraver. Born into a family of skilled engravers, he learnt the craft first from his father, Thomas Kensett (1786–1829), and then from his uncle Alfred Daggett (1799–1872). From this training he acquired the consummate skill that made him an exceptional draughtsman. The engraver’s attention to tonal modulation of the grey scale also contributed to Kensett’s extraordinary exploration of colour values and saturation in his paintings (see fig.).

In 1840, in the company of Asher B. Durand, John Casilear, and Thomas Rossiter (1818–71), Kensett went to Europe, where he remained for seven years, studying Old Master works and developing his skills as a painter in London, Paris, and Rome. On his return to America, he was immediately recognized as one of the most gifted painters of his time. He was soon elected an associate (1848) and then a full member (...

Article

American, 19th century, male.

Born 19 December 1804, in Gloucester (Massachusetts); died 14 August 1865, in Gloucester.

Painter, engraver, illustrator. Seascapes, landscapes.

Hudson River School.

Fitz Hugh Lane was partially disabled, and learned drawing and lithography from an engraver in Boston. He worked in advertising between 1830 and 1840 and then devoted himself to pictorial art. He travelled to Boston and in Maine, painting seascapes. He belonged to the second generation of the Hudson River School and liked to reproduce the effects of light on water....

Article

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 ...

Article

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....