Tag Archives: American landscape painter

A First Rank Landscape Painter, Thomas Doughty

Shortly after America declared its independence from Great Britain, an artist was born in Philadelphia. Thomas Doughty (1793 – 1856)  would come to change the face of art in America and throughout the world by mastering and popularizing landscape painting.

Ruins in a Landscape

Ruins in a Landscape

Doughty’s career flourished during his time in Philadelphia. What started with an apprenticeship as a leather currier turned into a career as a painter, seemingly overnight. There are only a few records of how Doughty developed his skill, but it is clear that he showed natural artistic talent at a young age. In fact, by 1816, he had an exhibit with his landscape artwork at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1820 he declared “painter” as his full-time career.

What Thomas Doughty did not know was that his art would change American art forever. At this time, Americans were beginning to show more interest in landscape painting than portrait art. Doughty was known as a highly skilled landscapist. His art often reflected his perception of gentle rivers and quite mountains.

View of the Fairmount Waterworks

View of the Fairmount Waterworks

Some of his work was copied from European landscapes he saw in collections by Robert Gilmor, Jr. Copying the landscape work of other artists was how Doughty taught himself to paint different types of landscapes, which he would set behind familiar scenes found in blossoming American towns. Often times, the artist would travel to take sketch notes that would allow him to breathe realism into his whimsical work.

Thomas Doughty was often able to sell his artwork and make a living as an artist for much of his life. In 1830 he went onto edit a magazine titled, “The Cabinet of Natural History and American Rural Sports.” Doughty would create hand-colored lithographs of animals for this monthly review. But after only two years of production, Doughty stopped publishing the magazine and moved to Boston.

The time Thomas Doughty spent in Boston was lucrative. He sold many paintings, exhibited often, and taught landscape painting to young artists. Also, Doughty was able to expand his style, which took on more of a romantic flare. In the swell of his success, the landscapist received a rave review from the first American art historian. William Dunlap referred to Doughty as, “The first rank as a landscape painter.”

Still, what many saw as his greatest accomplishment was yet to come. Doughty would go onto become one of the three leading figures of the Hudson River school. In addition to Asher Durand, Thomas Cole, and other American landscape painters who worked between 1825 and 1870, Doughty made up a school of art that prized 19th century themes such as discovery, exploration, and settlement. Most of the artists drew inspiration from natural scenes found in the Hudson River valley and other parts of New England. The Hudson River school was the first native paint school in the United States. This gave it a high sense of nationalism, which shown in the artists’ beautiful portrayals of America.

While part of this association, Doughty’s art style continued to evolve. Then, in 1845 and 1847 he visited England, Ireland and France. Even though he might have only passively studied art there, his style became more serene and thoughtful after this tour. These traits would continue to mark his style throughout his later years.

Thomas Doughty would return to the United States and settle in New York. As he grew older, he painted less. By the time he passed away in 1856, it is said that he and his family were living in poverty.

Regardless of the penniless inheritance he left his family, the life and work of Thomas Doughty is rich, and continues to be pass down from generation to generation. The artist changed American art work forever because of his talent as a first rank landscape painter.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Thomas Doughty’s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=DOU. Also, Segmation is proud to offer 26 digital Thomas Doughtypatterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 26 Thomas Doughty Landscape patterns. Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

 

Scituate Beach Massachusetts

Scituate Beach Massachusetts

Sources:

National Gallery of Art: Thomas Doughty

Hudson River School

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The Reluctant Educator and Revered Artist, Emil Carlsen”

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William Merritt Chase – American Impressionist Painter

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Thomas Moran – American Landscape Painter

www.segmation.comThe interesting life of Thomas Moran started with humble beginnings and ended in the Whitehouse.  Moran was no politician though; he was an artist who raised the bar for American painters and illustrators. More so, Thomas Moran was responsible for making America what is it today.

Like many history makers, Thomas Moran immigrated to America from England in the 19th century. He was born in Bolton, Lancashire in 1837. Early in his life, his entire family moved to a suburb of Philadelphia.

The four Moran brothers, (two being older than Thomas) were all artists, either by profession or hobby. Thomas’s artistic nature and innate talent began to show at the age of 16 when he apprenticed for a wood engraving firm. In this role he was diligent to develop abilities in illustration and watercolor. By 1860, Thomas sought to infuse his personal art with fresh inspiration.

He traveled to the Great Lakes to paint their landscape. After returning to Philadelphia, he was able to sell lithographs of his work. This encouraged the growing artist to travel and further his skill in drawing and painting landscapes. Moran found himself in London next, studying the works of J. M. W. Turner. It is noted that Moran appreciated the esteemed artist’s choices of landscape and color usage.www.segmation.com

Between his time in London and his next adventure, Thomas Moran’s landscape art appeared in numerous publications. With some notoriety and industry connections, Moran was asked to be one of the first artists to document The West with the United States Geological Survey. Throughout a forty day journey, Moran kept a diary of drawings reflecting the various landscapes he and the team encountered. As a result of his art, and the team’s work, Congress was persuaded to name Yellowstone a national park. In 1872, it was the first park of its kind.

This voyage created a good amount of recognition and wealth for the artist. Yellowstone inspired Moran’s infamous piece, a 7′ by 12′ oil painting appropriately titled, The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The United States government purchased this for $10,000 that year. This is the same amount paid for another large painting inspired by a different survey that took place two years later.

The Chasm of Colorado was the result of a survey that sent Moran and Army General, John Wesley Powell from Salt Lake City to, what would soon be known as Zion National Park. The results of this survey were numerous illustrations, publications, and growing notoriety of both the artist and America’s unseen west.

Throughout the course of his United States travels, Moran grew a strong affinity towards the Grand Canyon in Arizona. In fact, every year for the last 25 years of his life, he would visit this source of inspiration. Of the natural wonder, Moran wrote, “Of all places on earth the great canyon of Arizona is the most inspiring in its pictorial possibilities.”

At the age of 89, Thomas Moran passed away in Santa Barbara, where he lived out his senior years. His legacy, on the other hand, continued to live. The oil paintings bought for $10,000 by the government were later featured in the Smithsonian. In addition, Mount Moran in Grand Teton National Park was named after the artist. There are many other landmarks and museums that have collections or pieces of his 1,500 oils paintings, 800 watercolors, and countless illustrations.

Thomas Moran’s portrayal of the magnificent West united the states of America. With that honor comes recognition that transcends time. On a wall in the Oval Office hangs Moran’s The Three Tetons. His place in American history has been solidified; his legacy lives on a Whitehouse wall.

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