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Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826-1900)
Autumn, c. 1845
Oil on canvas, 20 x 30-1/2 in.
Signed at lower left (on rock): F. CHURCH.
August Heckscher Collection.  1959.20




About This Work

Frederic Edwin Church was the only student of Thomas Cole, a founder of the Hudson River School, often called America's first native painting movement. Inspired by the unspoiled beauty of the American wilderness and with close observation to detail, the Hudson River School artists advocated sketching outdoors as a basis for the creation of finished studio works. The influence of Cole's panoramic approach and romantic spirit are seen in Autumn, which was executed just following Church's years with the master. Autumn relates to a drawing of Laurel Lake, Lee (Massachusetts) in the collection at Olana, Church's historic home on the Hudson. After 1850, Church sought more exotic scenery and he explored South America, following the trail from Colombia to Ecuador taken by the naturalist-explorer Alexander von Humboldt in 1802. The monumental paintings that resulted from this and subsequent trips brought Church immediate international acclaim.




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