Jasper Francis Cropsey | 19th Century American Art | American Landscape Art

“Reminiscences of a Life” Features Rarely-Exhibited Works by Jasper Francis Cropsey

Chelsea DeLay | November 1st, 2013 | Posted in Events and Exhibitions

The life and career of Jasper Francis Cropsey, an important second-generation Hudson River School artist, is being celebrated in an exhibition currently open at the Newington-Cropsey Foundation: Jasper Francis Cropsey, Reminiscences of a Life. As a commemoration of Cropsey’s success as a leading American landscape painter, Reminiscences of a Life takes on an added significance because it also marks the completion of the artist’s catalogue raisonné, a monumental project that first began over thirty years ago. While the catalogue raisonné has yet to be printed, an essay by Anthony Speiser from the forthcoming publication is included in the exhibition’s catalogue. On view through December 13, 2013, this intimate selection of Jasper Francis Cropsey paintings spans nearly fifty-five years of his career, and is comprised of rarely-exhibited and lesser known pieces that showcase the wide variety of work he produced. For instance, those visiting this exhibition may be surprised to learn that although Cropsey was well-known and respected for his Hudson River School scenes, depictions of European subjects accounted for approximately twenty percent of his oeuvre.

Evidence of Cropsey’s travels can be seen in his paintings—Italian vistas, views of the English countryside, winter scenes of Switzerland—yet Reminiscences of a Life highlights his American landscape paintings as his crowning glory. Cropsey was a strong admirer of his Hudson River School predecessors: he held Asher B. Durand in high esteem, and in 1845 traveled to Thomas Cole’s studio, Cedar Grove, where he also met Frederic Edwin Church. Maintaining the tradition established by the first generation of the Hudson River School, Cropsey was a proponent of depicting the natural beauty of his surrounding landscape as realistically as possible, which he achieved through a skillful use of atmospheric perspective and mastery of light effects. Curated by by Adelia Rasines, Executive Director of the Newington-Cropsey Foundation, Reminiscences of a Life is an exhibition offering audiences a unique glimpse at rarely-seen examples of the artist’s work—some of which have not been exhibited for over a century!—that will be appealing to both those encountering work by Jasper Francis Cropsey for the first time, as well as to his longtime fans.

Jasper Francis Cropsey, Sugar Loaf Mountain, 1874. Newington-Cropsey Foundation.

Jasper Francis Cropsey, Sugar Loaf Mountain, 1874. Newington-Cropsey Foundation.

Jasper Francis Cropsey, Coast of Newport, 1852.  Newington-Cropsey Foundation.

Jasper Francis Cropsey, Coast of Newport, 1852. Newington-Cropsey Foundation.

Jasper Francis Cropsey, The Colosseum, 1847. Newington-Cropsey Foundation.

Jasper Francis Cropsey, The Colosseum, 1847. Newington-Cropsey Foundation.

Jasper Francis Cropsey, Puppy in a Basket, n.d. Newington-Cropsey Foundation.

Jasper Francis Cropsey, Puppy in a Basket, n.d. Newington-Cropsey Foundation.

Chelsea DeLay is a Researcher at Questroyal Fine Art. Chelsea earned her MA in art business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York, and her BA in art history and classical studies. Her interest in American paintings first began while working at an auction house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and has multiplied exponentially since joining the Questroyal team.