Forest Interior with Stream

  • John Frederick Kensett, Forest Interior with Stream, ca. 1860-1870, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Mrs. Francis J. McCoy, 1973.155

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.

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
Forest Interior with Stream
ca. 1860-1870
17 3814 12 in. (44.236.8 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of Mrs. Francis J. McCoy

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Landscape – river
Object Number
Linked Open Data
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