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Hudson River School Visions: The Landscapes of Sanford R. Gifford

ISBN13: 9780300101843
ISBN: 0300101848
Binding: Hardcover
List Price: $60.0
Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Published Date:
Pages: 288
Average Goodreads rating: 5.00/5 (1 ratings)

Sanford Gifford (1823-1880), a leading Hudson River School landscape painter and a founder of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, was so esteemed by the New York art world that, at his untimely death, the Museum mounted a show of his work - the first monographic exhibition accorded any artist - and published a Memorial Catalogue that, for nearly a century, remained the principal source on his oeuvre.

Gifford's art, which was inspired by the work of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School, and by that of J. M. W. Turner, and enriched by his travels in Europe (from 1855 to 1857, and from 1868 to 1869), came to be called "air painting," for he made the ambient light of each scene - color saturated and atmospherically potent - the key to its expression. His approach to painting and his unique style gave rise to a highly distinctive body of work, of enchanting and mesmerizing effect. While Gifford himself compiled a "List of Chief Pictures" late in his career, a significant part of his extant oeuvre consists of small-scale studies, preparatory works in oil, and original drawings, most of which are in annotated sketchbooks and document the progression from on-site record to idealized vision achieved in his major pictures.