George Inness (American, 1825–1894)
Oil and crayon or charcoal on canvas; 29 x 45 1/4 in. (73.7 x 114.9 cm)
Gift of George A. Hearn, in memory of Arthur Hoppock Hearn, 1911 (11.116.4)
This late work has been variously dated to 1887, 1889, and 1891, a confusion resulting from differing interpretations of the five digits, “18891,” which Inness inscribed in dating the canvas (the nine has been misread at times as a seven). When the painting was first exhibited at the American Fine Arts Society in New York in 1894, its date was given as 1891, and this presumably is correct. Inness lived in Montclair the last sixteen years of his life, a period during which he evolved his mistiest, most spiritualized, and most self-expressive style. The post-Centennial era also saw Inness elevated to the status of America’s most beloved landscape painter, supplanting the formerly dominant Hudson River School artists.