George Inness USA

5-1-1825 Newburgh, USA - 8-3-1894 Bridge of Allan, SCO

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Inness, George

George Inness in 1839 he studied for several months with an itinerant painter, John Jesse Barker. In his teens, Inness worked as a map engraver in New York City. During this time he attracted the attention of French landscape painter Régis François Gignoux, with whom he subsequently studied. Throughout the mid-1840s he also attended classes at the National Academy of Design, and studied the work of Hudson River School artists Thomas Cole and Asher Durand. He debuted his work at the National Academy in 1844. George Inness opened his first studio in New York in 1848.

In 1851 a patron named Ogden Haggerty sponsored Inness' first trip to Europe to paint and study. George Inness spent fifteen months in Rome, where he studied landscapes by Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin.

During trips to Paris in the early 1850s, Inness came under the influence of artists working in the Barbizon school of France. Barbizon landscapes were noted for their looser brushwork, darker palette, and emphasis on mood. Inness quickly became the leading American exponent of Barbizon-style painting. In 1854 his son George Inness, Jr., who also became a landscape painter of note, was born in Paris.

In the mid-1850s, George Inness was commissioned by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad to create paintings which documented the progress of DLWRR's growth in early Industrial America.

His work of the 1860s and 1870s often tended toward the panoramic and picturesque, topped by cloud-laden and threatening skies, and included views of his native country, as well as scenes inspired by numerous travels overseas, especially to Italy and France.

After George Inness settled in Montclair, New Jersey in 1885, and particularly in the last decade of his life, this mystical component manifested in his art through a more abstracted handling of shapes, softened edges, and saturated color. It is this last quality in particular which distinguishes Inness from those painters of like sympathies who are characterized as Luminists.

Movement: Barbizon, Tonalism
Influences: Régis François Gignoux, Thomas Cole, Asher Durand, Claude Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin
Influenced: Charles Dormon Robinson
Traveled: Italy, France
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