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ByKensett had begun studying engraving and drawing in his father's firm in New Haven and in he worked briefly for the engraver Peter Maverick in New York.
Earning his living as an engraver during the s, Kensett also began to experiment with landscape painting, encouraged by his friend John Casilear In he exhibited a work entitled Landscape at the National Academy of De in New York and by he had decided to become a full-time painter. In that year he sailed for Europe with fellow artists Casilear, Asher B. Durandand Thomas P. Rossiter He rapidly established a name as a landscape painter and was elected an Associate of the National Academy in In he was named a full member of the Academy and was also elected to membership in the prestigious Century Club, which brought him into contact with numerous leading artistic and Find Kensett figures of the day.
Kensett's early works were generally richly painted and owed much to the inspiration of Thomas Cole and English landscape painters such as John Constable Works from the early s combined vigorous and expressive brushwork with carefully observed details of rocks, vegetation, and atmosphere in a strikingly effective way, and were well-received. By the middle and later s his style had become more precise and meticulous, reflecting the influence of Durand, and he began to favor more tranquil and simplified compositions.
John frederick kensett
Kensett was at the height of his powers in the s and he created some of the most accomplished American landscapes of the nineteenth century. Although he occasionally painted large works, Kensett generally preferred to work on small to medium sized canvases.
Unlike such contemporaries as Frederic Church or Albert Bierstadtwho travelled to exotic and far-off locales in search of inspiration, Kensett returned again and again to favorite spots that were easily accessible to New York. Never tiring of the pictorial possibilities of these places, Kensett produced a substantial body of works that seem superficially similar, but in fact have subtle, but ificant variations in composition, lighting, and atmosphere.
He became so well known for painting certain places, including Bash-Bish Falls, Lake George, and the coastal areas of Newport, Rhode Island, and Beverly, Massachusetts, that many of his contemporaries invariably associated them with his name. Kensett maintained a high profile in the artistic and cultural circles of New York and was respected and well liked by his fellow artists. In he was appointed a member of the National Art Commission, which was charged with overseeing the decoration of the Capitol in Washington.
Find Kensett was one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in and also served as a member of its board of trustees. In these same years he began to experiment with simpler and more austere, even reductive, compositions.
Many of his works from were unfinished, but examples such as Eaton's Neck, Long IslandMetropolitan Museum of Art are remarkable for their powerful arrangements of a few boldly simplified shapes representing earth, sea, and sky. On December 14,Kensett died in New York City, of pneumonia and heart disease contracted while trying to retrieve the body of a friend's wife from the waters off Contentment Island, Connecticut.
For many of his contemporaries Kensett had represented a kind of artistic epitome in landscape painting. John Frederick Kensett American, - Related Content Filter .
Artist Bibliography Johnson, Ellen. John Frederick Kensett, New York, John F. Kensett Drawings. State College, Kensett, American Landscape Painter.
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