- William S. Talbot
(b Rossville, Staten Island, NY, Feb 18, 1823; d Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, June 22, 1900).
American painter and architect. Cropsey was a practising architect by 1843, but in that year he also exhibited a landscape painting, to favourable reviews, at the National Academy of Design, in New York. He greatly admired Thomas Cole for his dramatic use of the American landscape, but Cropsey brought to his panoramic vistas a more precise recording of nature, as in View of Greenwood Lake, New Jersey (1845; San Francisco, CA, de Young Mem. Mus.). Such vastness and detail impressed the viewer with both the grandeur and the infinite complexity of nature and indicated a universal order. In 1847 Cropsey made his first trip to Europe, settling in Rome among a circle of American and European painters. His eye for detail in recording nature was encouraged by the Nazarenes, and his American sympathy for historical and literary subjects was sharpened by the antiquities of Italy. In 1848 Cropsey was in Naples, where the work of contemporary painters may have inspired the bold massing, deep space and brilliant lighting in ...