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date: 31 March 2020

Casilear, John Williamlocked

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

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