Frederic Edwin Church

American, 1826 - 1900
Frederic Edwin Church was one of the most famous landscapists of the two continents in the 1850s and 1860s. His huge canvases are extravaganzas of nature in its extremes, painted with scientific exactitude. At their best, they are marvelous weddings of light, form and detail. Born in 1826 in Hartford Connecticut to a wealthy family, Church demonstrated early talent. In 1844, he became the pupil of the leading landscapist, Thomas Cole. A year later, at the age of 19, Church made his debut at the National Academy of Design and was named an associate member. He established his studio in New York City in 1848 and took in his first pupil, Henry Stillman. In 1853, Church made his first trip to South America. During his seven months travel in Columbia and Equador, Church painted views of Volcanoes, jungles and the snow-capped Andes Mountains, journeying 600 miles to the Magdalena. His South American paintings were acclaimed at the National Academy of Design in 1855. In 1861, Church traveled to the Arctic to paint massive canvases of glittering icebergs and seas. After a later trip to Jamaica and the Tropics, he produced landscapes that some critics now fault as melodramatic. Some believe Church's approach might eventually have created a second ascent to popularity, but in 1877 inflammatory rheumatism began to cripple the artist's right hand. Church tried to educate his left. For the remaining 23 years of his life, Church divided his time between his fabulous Moorish-inspired home, "Olana", on the Hudson River, his camp near Katadin, Maine and travel in Mexico. Though his work had depreciated and was unsought, he continued to produce numerous oil sketches. After his death in 1900, virtually forgotten as an artist, Church was honored with an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries,
Frederic Church Paintings 
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