The Hudson River School

by Sarah Judson January 22, 2009

Hudson River school was a group of American landscape painters, working from 1825 to 1875. For the first time, a number of American artists began to devote themselves to landscape painting instead of portraiture. They were particularly attracted by the grandeur of Niagara Falls and the scenic beauty of the Hudson River valley, the Catskills, and the White Mountains. The works of these artists reflected a new concept of wilderness — one in which man was an insignificant intrusion in a landscape.
 
First of the group of artists properly classified with the Hudson River school was Thomas Doughty; his tranquil works greatly influenced later artists of the school. Albert Bierstadt glorified the Rocky Mountains in the West, working in the same manner as the painters in the East. Thomas Cole, whose dramatic and colorful landscapes are among the most impressive of the school, may be said to have been its leader during the group's most active years. Hudson River School landscapes are characterized by their realistic, detailed, and sometimes idealized portrayal of nature along with the juxtaposition of colonialism and wilderness.




Sarah Judson
Sarah Judson

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