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Forest Interior with Stream

ca. 1860-1870 John Frederick Kensett Born: Cheshire, Connecticut 1816 Died: New York, New York 1872 oil on canvas 17 3/8 x 14 1/2 in. (44.2 x 36.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Mrs. Francis J. McCoy 1973.155 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 13B


Luce Center Quote

"Bright colors are sparingly distributed through the natural world . . . even in [the] season of bloom; while the main masses [of a scene] are made of cool greens, greys, drabs, and browns intermingled, and are always harmonious and agreeable." Kensett, The Crayon, April 1860, reprinted in Driscoll and Howat, John Frederick Kensett, An American Master, 1985

Luce Center Label

John Frederick Kensett painted intimate views of the landscape to express what he called in 1844 "that beautiful harmony in which God has created the universe" (Driscoll and Howat, John Frederick Kensett, An American Master, 1985). Images like Forest Interior with Stream suggested the nineteenth-century faith that the wilderness was a gift for man to enjoy. Kensett painted a small stream with only a few ripples to show an area of calm among the dark, tangled branches. The expressive brushstrokes and scratches of paint suggest he painted this on the spot.

Keywords

Landscape - forest

Landscape - river

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About John Frederick Kensett

Born: Cheshire, Connecticut 1816 Died: New York, New York 1872

More works in the collection by
John Frederick Kensett