The Birches of the Catskills

  • Worthington Whittredge, The Birches of the Catskills, ca. 1875, oil on canvas mounted on paperboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of William Katzenbach, 1967.144

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Worthington Whittredge found it difficult to adjust to painting the New England landscape after almost ten years abroad. He described the forests as “a mass of decaying logs and tangled brush wood” that were completely different from the “well-ordered” European views he was used to. (The Autobiography of Worthington Whittredge, 1942, reprinted in Janson, Worthington Whittredge, 1989) The broad brushstrokes of The Birches of the Catskills suggest that Whittredge painted the small canvas on the spot. The disordered view of tall trees, fallen branches, and undergrowth emphasizes the untamed quality that had initially unsettled the artist.

The Birches of the Catskills
ca. 1875
Not on view
13 1/4 x 7 3/4 in. (33.5 x 19.8 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of William Katzenbach

Mediums Description
oil on canvas mounted on paperboard
  • Landscape – water
  • Landscape – tree – birch tree
  • Landscape – New York
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI