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Scene on the Hudson (Rip Van Winkle)

1845 James Hamilton Born: Entrien, Ireland 1819 Died: San Francisco, California 1878 oil on canvas 38 x 57 1/8 in. (96.6 x 145.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1968.138 Not currently on view


Gallery Label

Hamilton's painting combines several scenes from Washington Irving's short story. The hazy river valley beyond the trees evokes the Catskills, where Rip Van Winkle looked out over the Hudson River "moving on its silent but majestic course." Beneath the cavernous rock, several men enjoy a game of ninepins while Rip drinks the brew that will make him sleep for twenty years and awake to a different world. Irving wrote his stories for sophisticated urban Americans, whose fast-moving culture, fed by the nation’s industrialization, was displacing the rural society of the old Dutch Knickerbockers of the Hudson Valley.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006

Keywords

Animal - dog

Figure(s) in exterior - rural

Landscape - forest

Landscape - New York

Landscape - river - Hudson River

Literature - Irving - Rip Van Winkle

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About James Hamilton

Born: Entrien, Ireland 1819 Died: San Francisco, California 1878

More works in the collection by
James Hamilton

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