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Edward Mitchell Bannister

Landscape with Path through Forest
after 1870
chalk and charcoal
17 1/4 x 11 5/16 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Abraham and Faye Adler

Edward Mitchell Bannister's Landscape with Path through Forest gives little clue to the artist's African American background. The serene, intimate view of a forest path, with light filtering gently through the trees, suggests a cathedral-like space, a hushed setting for the contemplation of nature. This scene indicates the artist's reverence for the solace it offered. Early in his career, he received acclaim as a portrait painter but is now better remembered for his landscape paintings and drawings.