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Inness, George

Inness, George

Inness, George, 1825-94, American landscape painter, b. Newburgh, N.Y. His father intended Inness to be a grocer, but he showed artistic talent at an early age and was apprenticed to an engraver. In 1845 he opened a studio in New York City, devoting himself to painting, and two years later with a friend's aid was able to go to Rome. He made a subsequent visit to Rome in 1851, and in 1854 he and his wife went to Paris. On their return they settled in Medfield, Mass. There Inness painted many of his best-known canvases. In later life he enjoyed a high reputation, maintaining studios in New York City and in Montclair, N.J., where most of his last 20 years were spent. The early work of Inness is in the manner of the Hudson River school. His panoramic Peace and Plenty (Metropolitan Mus.) is characteristic of this period. But in a short time he discovered his own personal style, which became simplified, freer, more intimate, and richer in color. In the landscapes of the 1880s and 90s, edges frequently dissolve into the air, merging in a painterly haze. In these later works his subjects, covering a wide range of light effects, became a vehicle for the expression of a romantic mood. Inness was a Swedenborgian and consistently sought the mystical in nature. Among his principal works are Rainbow after a Storm and Millpond (Art Inst., Chicago); Delaware Valley, Autumn Oaks, and Evening—Medfield, Mass. (Metropolitan Mus.); June (1882; Brooklyn Mus., N.Y.); and Georgia Pines and Niagara (National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.). Many of his other works are in the collection of the Montclair Art Museum. Inness died in Scotland.

See his Life, Art and Letters, introd. by E. Daingerfield (1969); study by A. Werner (1973).

(born May 1, 1825, Newburgh, N.Y., U.S.—died Aug. 3, 1894, Bridge of Allen, Stirling, Scot.) U.S. landscape painter. He was largely self-taught. His early paintings were influenced by the Hudson River school. He spent much time in Europe studying the works of the Barbizon school, and from circa 1855 to 1874 he developed the luminous, atmospheric quality for which his landscapes are known. The influence of Camille Corot is evident in his intimately rendered images of far-reaching expanses. His later works are marked by the ascendancy of colour over form. His sense of mysticism intensified over time, and the pictures tended to dissolve into shimmering colour with no outlines or formal construction. Seealso luminism.

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George Inness, Jr. January 5, 1854 - July 27, 1926 was one of America’s foremost figure and landscape artists and the son of George Inness, an important American landscape painter.

He studied with his father and Léon Bonnat in the 1870s in Europe, where he was made an officer of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. Like his father, he was considered a member of the Barbizon School and resisted impressionism.

Later he returned to the United States and became known for his paintings of animals and illustration of hunting scenes. In 1899 he was elected to the National Academy of Design. He lived and worked in Boston, New York City and New Jersey and finally in Tarpon Springs, Florida where he produced most of his life's work. The Unitarian Universalist Church in Tarpon Springs contains a collection of eleven of his works.

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