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"One of Thomas Cole's illustrious pupils at an early age, Church became a key figure associated with the Hudson River School. His adventurous international travels and the paintings that resulted from his expeditions brought him far-reaching attention, and his pictures often commanded record-breaking sums. Church's friendships and interests - religion, history, literature, music, architecture, agriculture, and science - as well as his skills as a crafty entrepreneur are explored. Beautiful reproductions of Church's extraordinary home Olana, which one can visit today in eastern New York, are also featured."--BOOK JACKET.
Twelve days after the onset of the American Civil War in April of 1861, Frederic Edwin Church, the most successful American landscape painter of his day, debuted his latest “Great Picture”—a painting titled The North. Despite favorable reviews, the painting failed to find a buyer. Faced with this unexpected setback, Church added a broken mast to the foreground and changed the work’s title to The Icebergs. He then shipped the painting to London, where it was finally sold to an English railroad magnate and subsequently disappeared from view for 116 years. This beautiful book tells the fascinating story of The Icebergs and provides a detailed look at the cycle of fame, neglect, and resuscitation of both this masterwork and Church’s career. In 1979, The Icebergs sold at auction for $2.5 million, at the time the highest amount ever paid for an American painting. The sale coincided with an upswing in the popularity and acclaim accorded to American landscape painting, catalyzing the market for American art and contributing to a revival in the prestige of Church and the Hudson River School. Drawing on extensive interviews with many of the people involved with the painting’s rediscovery, sale, and eventual donation to the Dallas Museum of Art, the author considers the way marketing has defined The Icebergs.
Frederic Church (1826-1900), the most celebrated painter in the United States during the mid-19th century, created monumental landscapes of North and South America, the Arctic, and the Middle East. These paintings were unsurpassed in their attention to detail, yet the significance of this pictorial approach has remained largely unexplored. In this important reconsideration of Church's works, Jennifer Raab offers the first sustained examination of the aesthetics of detail that fundamentally shaped 19th-century American landscape painting. Moving between historical context and close readings of famous canvases--including Niagara, The Heart of the Andes, and The Icebergs--Raab argues that Church's art challenged an earlier model of painting based on symbolic unity, revealing a representation of nature with surprising connections to scientific discourses of the time. The book traces Church's movement away from working in oil on canvas to shaping the physical landscape of Olana, his self-designed estate on the Hudson River, a move that allowed the artist to rethink scale and process while also engaging with pressing ecological questions. Beautifully illustrated with dramatic spreads and striking details of Church's works, Frederic Church: The Art and Science of Detail offers a profoundly new understanding of this canonical artist.
One of America's best landscape artists and the quintessential exponent of Romanticism, the American painter Frederic Edwin Church was an important member of the Hudson River School of landscape painting, a pupil and friend of Thomas Cole, the movement's leader, and an important contributor to Luminism. At his peak during the mid-Victorian Age, he was one of the most famous modern artists in the United States, but tastes changed, and by the time he died he was largely forgotten. In the spring and autumn seasons, Frederic Edwin Church was known to travel extensively by foot, collecting sketches he would later turn into paintings in winter. As one of the most prominent figures in the Hudson River School of American landscape painters, Church captured the phenomena of his natural surroundings, such as waterfalls, rainbows, sunsets, and volcanoes, in massive dimensions with astounding verisimilitude. During early study under landscape painter Thomas Cole, Church developed his eye by joining Cole in sketching the Catskill and Berkshire Mountains. Upon establishing his own studio in New York, Church traveled extensively; inspired by the writings of Prussian explorer Alexander Von Humboldt, he traversed South America, and later traveled to the North Atlantic to sketch icebergs, Jamaica to capture the tropics, and Palestine to retrace Jesus’s footsteps.
Capturing the full range of landscape paintings by the eminent artist, full-color reproductions of artworks from the personal collection of Hudson River School master Frederic Edwin Church, taken from Olana, his castle home on the Hudson, are accompanied by an essay on the context of Church's art, travels, and influence.
Recounts the life and career of church, shows examples of his landscapes, and discusses the influence of his teacher, Thomas Cole
A beautiful overview of fascinating paintings of the classical world and the Holy Land by a beloved American artist Frederic Church (1826-1900), one of the leading painters of 19th-century America and the Hudson River School, also journeyed around the globe to find fresh inspiration for his highly detailed compositions. Among Church's lesser-known masterpieces are his paintings of the Middle East, Italy, and Greece, produced in the late 1860s through late 1870s, which explore themes of human history and achievement. Taking a closer look at this geographical and thematic shift in Church's practice, this handsome book brings together the artist's major paintings of Athens, Rome, Jerusalem, and the surrounding region. The essays concentrate on a set of six major paintings of architectural and archaeological marvels; one essay also spotlights Olana, Church's home in New York State, which reflects the influence of Middle Eastern design. This impressive volume stands apart in its new approach to the artist's work and its quest to determine why and how this quintessentially American figure was drawn to scenery and themes from the other side of the globe.
Named for a fortress treasure-house in ancient Persia, Olana was the home of Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), one of America's most important artists, a student of Thomas Cole, and a major figure in the Hudson River School of landscape painting. Built high on a hill between 1870 and 1891, Olana holds lordly sway over sweeping vistas of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River. Today, Olana is a New York State Historic Site visited annually by over 150,000 people, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Hudson Valley and upstate New York. Called by Church “the Center of the World, Olana's Persian-style house and 250 acres of romantically-designed grounds are a personal vision of harmony between man and the American landscape—a “perfect Eden of picturesque beauty,” as one 1891 visitor described it. This book tells Olana's remarkable story.Includes 74 photographs, with 31 paintings, sketches, and house interior shots in full color.
"In 1609, Henry Hudson sailed up the river that now bears his name. The exhibition and its accompanying publication Glories of the Hudson: Frederic Edwin Church's Views from Olana mark the quadricentennial of his discovery by highlighting Frederic Church's sketches of the prospect from his hilltop home overlooking the river. Church made his first sketch of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains from Red Hill--the south end of the property that became his home, Olana--in 1845, on a sketching expedition suggested by his teacher Thomas Cole. Returning to the Hudson Valley in 1860 as the nation's most famous and best-paid artist, Church settled on a farm on the lower slope of the Sienghenbergh, securing for himself and his new wife a splendid vantage point for studying, sketching, and painting the river. Church continued to add land to his property, attaining new and varied vistas of the river, and crowned the estate with a Persian-inspired house designed to frame splendid views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. Church never tired of his views of the river, documenting his passion for the Hudson in paintings, oil sketches, and drawings. From Olana, he observed the transformations wrought by the changing seasons, weather, and light, capturing chilly winter snows, brilliant sunsets, and passing storms in sketches executed with a few brushstrokes or autumn colors and clear winter light in more finished easel paintings. The best of these are reproduced here, in eighty-three illustrations, sixty-nine in full color, some of them published for the first time. The essay by Evelyn D. Trebilcock and Valerie A. Balint, the introduction by Kenneth John Myers, and the foreword by John K. Howat together provide an absorbing narrative of the development of the Hudson River School and its most successful artist." -- Publisher's description.
An artistic travelogue of the places visited by a popular American artist
Traces the life and career of the nineteenth-century American landscape artist, shows Church's most important paintings, and discusses his influences and technique
Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), one of the most representative characters of the Hudson River school, used to travel most part of the year to unknown territories with the intention of familiarizing with nature and take notes for his paintings. Inspired by Humboldt - the german humanist and scientist- and his expeditions, he started a journey that took him to diverse places in the world. Among those places, in 1853, he travelled the most exotic and remote places in Colombia and Ecuador. This book is an innovative contribution about his journey and shows for the first time most of the sketches and drawings made along his trip that now are part of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York.
Between 1843 and 1922, American artists travelled to the Near East and North Africa, painting all that they discovered. Edwin Lord Weeks and Frederick Bridgman are amongst the most famous but there was also Francis Bacon, Samuel Colman, Swain Gifford and
Frederic E. Church is increasingly recognized today as the leading painter of the Hudson River School -- the group of optimistic, realistic landscape painters who flourished during the mid-nineteenth century (1840-1875). He is a pivotal figure, and one who influenced his contemporaries greatly. Yet even Church is known almost solely from his finished oil paintings, which are large, detailed, and panoramic, with no hint of the artist's hand visible. This book brings, for the first time, scholarly attention and the eye of the connoisseur to Church's best oil sketches (112 are discussed and illustrated). In these works, the artist is seen working directly from nature, en plein air, with great speed and emotion. The sketches are astonishingly detailed, yet fresh and sensuous in execution. The book analyzes Church's stylistic progression, his use of sketches in the creation of finished studio paintings, and the formation and decline of his own vision (and that of the Hudson River School itself) as reflected in the changing style and use of the oil sketch. The book is divided into sections according to Church's major travels and subjects: the trips to South America, 1853 and 1857; Niagara; the voyage to the north to see icebergs; the trip to Jamaica, 1865; and his year-and-a-half-long journey to Europe and the Near East, starting in the autumn of 1867. The last years of his life Church spent the winters in Mexico and the summers at "Olana" -- center of the earth -- the house he designed and built in the fotthills of the Catskills. - Jacket flap.
Published to accompany the 2014 exhibition at the Thomas Cole Historic Site, the first exhibition to focus on the influential teacher-student relationship between the founder of the Hudson River School of painting, Thomas Cole (1801-1848) and his most celebrated student and successor, Frederic Church (1826-1900), this catalogue includes an essay by the curator, Professor John Wilmerding, and full-color illustrations of all of the artworks in the exhibition.
Frederic Edwin Church, the central figure in a group of artists known as the Hudson River School, made his name as a painter of monumental landscapes of New England, South America, and the Arctic. The landscape imagery he painted in the 1840s and 1850s helped shape not only the cultural identity of a new and burgeoning nation, but also of himself when he applied his vision as an artist to the house and property that he named Olana, known today as Olana State Historic Site, located just outside of Hudson, New York, in the heart of the beautiful Hudson River Valley. Spectacular photography by Larry Lederman of Olana, its landscape and house, inside and out, illustrates one of Church's greatest works of art. The images, many taken especially for this book, have been shot in all seasons and all weather, and include panoramic and aerial views, sunsets, detail shots of both the house and landscape, as well as interior views of the house. Essays will delve into Church and his inspirations and motivations, illuminating not only the estate he built but also his work as an artist. Church was an observer of the cosmos, and Olana, set in the center of the Hudson River Valley, was his laboratory of observation of all of nature: the sky, the land, the seasons, and the details of everything from flora and fauna and water features, particularly when set in the context of the great naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.

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