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American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States 1820-1880 Paperback – July 22, 2003
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From Library Journal
The Hudson River School and their successors were the first American artists to create a specifically "American" type of artwork an artwork that celebrated the awe-inspiring panoramas of the untamed American landscape and incorporated deep feelings of national identity. This catalog accompanies an exhibition that travels both to Great Britain and to the United States and includes over 113 stunningly dramatic and truly "sublime" American landscapes. The book is divided into eight thematic sections and includes two scholarly essays. In the first, Barringer (history of art, Yale) compares the tradition of landscape painting in America and Britain, while in the second, Wilton (senior research fellow, Tate Gallery, London) explores the concept of the sublime and the formation of a pictorial language that Americans would come to embrace and identify as uniquely their own. While the essays and catalog entries are well written and informative, providing a geographic and historical context for the artwork, it is the stunning illustrations (including several two-page foldouts) that dazzle the eye and imagination. Recommended for all libraries. Kraig Binkowski, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
None of the domestic cleverness of folk art is evident in American Sublime, a gorgeously illustrated and learned history of nineteenth-century American landscape painting, a sophisticated school rooted in British romanticism and American transcendence. Wilton, of the Tate Gallery, considers the influence of Edmund Burke's theory of sublimity and the surge in scientific development on American painters, while coauthor Tim Barringer, an art historian at Yale, discusses the profound effect on the painters' imaginations of a pristine land free of Western religious, literary, and historical associations. The American "instinct to find spiritual significance in nature" is manifest in the luminous beauty and high drama of the panoramic paintings of Frederic Edwin Church, Albert Bierstadt, and Jasper Francis Cropsey. But even as these painters and their colleagues, including Fritz Hugh Lane and Martin Johnson Heade, celebrated the glory of America, the frenetic growth of the nation transformed the land before their very eyes. By the time Thomas Moran was painting the Grand Canyon in 1892, the "wilderness aesthetic of the landscape painter" had become instrumental in protecting such sacred places from destruction. Wilton and Barringer's commentary is stimulating and important, and the exceptional plates are bliss unadulterated. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a must have for anyone studying landscape painting or who is interested in the beauty of America as seen through the eyes of painting masters from that time.
This was just what I wanted. It starts in New York and goes up the river in location and
forward in history. Eventually going beyond the Hudson to the West and South America.
A lot of the understanding of art comes from the history context. This book had an excellent
blend of both. Very helpful to understand the motivations and meanings. It put this genre
in context with the other movements in the 19th century. It also lead me into purchasing
deeper monographs on the artists that I liked.
I wrote an Art History paper using this book and others as references, and it is available at the Conway, NH library. Albert Bierstadt's famous painting of North Moat Mountain was painted from this locale. It is on the cover of Bob McGrath's book, GODS IN GRANITE, and is available as a print from the Currier Gallery in Manchester, NH.