James McDougal Hart

American, 1828 - 1901
James MacDougal Hart was born in 1828 and was considered a second generation Hudson River School artist. He studied in Dusseldorf, Germany at Schirmer and was later for his idyllic landscapes of Albany and the Adirondacks. Frequently these paintings showed cows watering in the summer pastures. After apprenticing with a sign painter, Hart opened a studio with his brother William in Keene Valley, NY. Hart exhibited his work frequently at chief galleries in New York, Philadelphia and Boston. After his death, 146 of Hart's paintings were auctioned for $20,287. "The Poetry of Nature" depicts a panoramic view of rural America with meticulous detail that Hart was admired for. He died in 1943.

Biography courtesy of The Caldwell Gallery, www.antiquesandfineart.com/caldwell
A Leading landscape painter of the second generation of the Hudson River School, James McDougal Hart was born in 1828 in Kilmarnock, Scotland. His family emigrated to Albany, New York in 1831. There, at the age of 15, he was apprenticed to a sign painter. Following the example of his older brother, William M. Hart, He Decided to become an artist. In 1851, Hart traveled to Dusseldorf, where he studied with Schirmer, a leading landscape painter. Schirmer's calmly ordered hills and valleys provided a life-long model for Hart's work.

Hart returned to the United States in 1852 and moved to New York City. In 1853, he went back to Albany. Finally, in 1857, he settled permanently in New York City. His work was frequently exhibited in the chief galleries of new York City, Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore.

His gently colored compositions were praised for their accurate drawing and their emphasis on the "poetry of nature". As the artist commented, "I strive to reproduce the feeling produced by the original scenes themselves."

Hart often portrayed cattle standing in rivers, as did brother William. However, during the 1840s and 1850s, he painted a number of large panoramic landscapes, idyllic scenes peopled with schoolchildren and farmers depicted in meticulous detail. These luminous scenes glorified the conception of America as a rural Eden.

Later, during the 1860s, the artist painted several specific topography and capturing of real light evocative of barbizon artist Constant Troyon. In the 1870s and later, the Adirondack Mountains were a favorite setting for his paintings.

In 1866, the artist married painter Marie Theresa Gorsuch. Their son, William Gorsuch Hart, also became a painter. in addition to William and James Hart, the Hart family produced another painter, the artists' sister, Julie Hart Beers Kempson, who was one of the few female professional landscape painters of her time.

Memberships:
National Academy of Design

Public Collections:
Brooklyn Museum
Corcoran Art Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York State Historical Association
Vassar College

Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton
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