Evening on the Hudson

George Inness

George Inness (05/01/1825-108/03/894) was born on a farm in Newburgh, New York.  His family moved to Jersey City, New Jersey, soon after Inness' birth.  Around 1841 he received drawing lessons from John Jesse Barker, and later became an apprentice to a group of map engravers in New York City.  In 1843 he began studying with the painter Regis Francois Gignoux.  That same year he married, but his wife died soon after the wedding.  He exhibited his work in the National Academy of Design in New York, and at the American Art Union in 1844. Inness opened his own studio in New York City in 1846 and four years later remarried.  Inness traveled to Europe for a year with his wife around 1851.  The next year Inness was elected an associate member of the National Academy of Design in New York City. After his return to America Inness moved to Medfield, Massachusetts (a suburb of Boston), to enlist in the Army after the outbreak of the Civil War.  The Army rejected him due to poor health, so in 1864 he moved to Eagleswood, New Jersey.  Three years later he returned to Brooklyn, where he showed his work in the Paris Exposition.  In 1870 he sailed for Europe, and in 1872 he exhibited his work at the Royal Academy in London. Between 1873 and 1875 Inness lived in Europe, finally moving back to New York City in 1876.  In 1878 he moved to Montclair, New Jersey.  He traveled  throughout the Western Hemisphere between 1884 and 1888.  In 1889 and 1891 he exhibited his work at the Universal Exposition in Paris, and in 1892 he showed his work in Munich (where he received a medal).  In 1894 he sailed for Europe, and died while visiting the Scottish town of Bridge-of-Allen. He was one of the most important landscape artists in the U.S. during the nineteenth century.  His early work may have been influenced by the Hudson River Painters, but his later work reflects characteristics of the Dutch landscape painters.  Inness believed the purpose of art was to develop the artists own spiritual nature and to improve the spiritual state of humanity. His work is included in a vast number of permanent collections including the San Diego Museum of Art (CA), the National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), the High Museum of Art (GA), the Art Institute of Chicago (IL), and the Museum of Fine Art (MA).

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