Hudson River School gallery | American Landscape Art

Staff Picks from “Voyeurs in Virgin Territory”

Alison Kowalski | March 24th, 2015 | Posted in Events and Exhibitions, News

On March 13th, our annual Hudson River School exhibition and sale opened with an exciting start. Collectors were quick to acquire important works by Bierstadt, Cropsey, Hart, and Gifford among others. There are still many paintings available, and our staff members have chosen their favorite pieces from this impressive group. Voyeurs in Virgin Territory is on view until April 11th, so be sure to stop by the gallery before then to see our picks in person and choose your own!

Lou’s Pick:

Bricher Indian Summer MA

Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837–1908)
Indian Summer, Massachusetts, 1864
Oil on canvas, 22¼ x 36¼ inches
Signed and dated lower left: A. T. Bricher. / 1864.

“My favorite painting still available is the Bricher, Indian Summer, Massachusetts, 1864. It is an undervalued classic example of the perfection of the Hudson River School style. Its broad panoramic vision, outstanding perspective, and sensitive light demonstrate Bricher’s range. Many collectors understand his abilities as a New England coastal painter but few are aware of the brilliance of his early landscapes. This work was completed in 1864 and one senses a budding optimism as the Civil War is nearing its conclusion.” ―Lou

Brent’s Pick:

Bricher Autumn Landscape 1866

Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837–1908)
Autumn Landscape, 1866
Oil on board, 8 11/16 x 18 5/16 inches
Signed and dated lower left: A.T.Bricher. 1866; on verso: A.T.Bricher 1866

“I have always been a fan of Bricher’s early works.  This example is no exception.  His use of light is superb!” ―Brent

Chloe’s Pick:

Gifford Venice

Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823–1880)
Venice, 1879
Oil on canvas, 3 x 6¼ inches
Initialed lower right: SRG; on verso: SRGifford / May 5th 1879

“I love this painting because despite being the smallest work in our Voyeurs exhibition, it arguably has the most impact. The last time I was in Venice it was during a heat wave in August and we completely lost track of time and boarded our return train to Paris a day late, as if time had stopped. Venice is one of the most enchanting places in the world and I’m sure many share my experience. Gifford, like most artists, was totally captivated by Venice, and had to be “reluctantly dragged away” from the beautiful and mystifying city, leaving this work as a precious souvenir.” ―Chloe

Nina’s Pick:

Bricher Rocky Cliffs with Breaking Waves

Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837–1908)
Rocky Cliffs with Breaking Waves
Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches
Monogrammed lower right: ATBRICHER

“After this long and brutal winter (which despite the recent break in frigid temperatures still isn’t over!) I find this painting a refreshing reminder of the summer months ahead. The scale of the canvas envelopes me when I stand in front of it, and the crosshatched brush strokes create a misty haze of salty sea air. In this classic New England example, Bricher skillfully uses the sunlight filtering through the clouds to keep the surface of the water in a constant and convincing state of motion. The light touching the edges of the cliffs and grazing the wings of the seagulls warms me just enough to remember that Jack Frost’s reign will be ending soon.” ―Nina

Chelsea’s Pick:

Gignoux Coastal Twilight

Régis François Gignoux (1816–1882)
Coastal Twilight
Oil on canvas, 13⅞ x 20 1/16 inches
Signed lower right: R. Gignoux

“Although Gignoux is commonly known for his winter paintings, my favorite work from Voyeurs in Virgin Territory is this warm-weather scene by the artist. I find the palette to be especially appealing—this painting is undoubtedly one of the most colorful paintings in the gallery right now.” ―Chelsea

Shannon’s Pick:

Whittredge Sunlight in the Forest

Worthington Whittredge (1820–1910)
Sunlight in the Forest, 1867
Oil on canvas, 27¾ x 27¾ inches
Signed and dated lower left: W. Whittredge / 1867

“I love the colors in Whittredge’s Sunlight in the Forest, especially the turquoise in the sky. This striking pop of color juxtaposes with the peaceful setting, which reminds me of hiking in warmer weather and being in nature. This is one of a few forest interior scenes we’ve had by Whittredge, and this is by far my favorite.” ―Shannon

Alison’s Pick:

Shaw Early Landscape

Joshua Shaw (1776–1861)
Early Landscape
Oil on canvas
21¼ x 30¼ inches

“I am especially fond of Joshua Shaw’s Early Landscape. Like many of the works in our exhibition, this landscape is so picturesque that it borders on fantastical. Unlike most Hudson River School pieces, however, Shaw conventionalized certain elements, such as the tree’s bunches of leaves and its tortuous roots. I particularly love this stylization.” ―Alison

Mishele’s Pick:

Richards-View of Loften Islands Norway

William Trost Richards (1833–1905)
View of Loften Islands, Norway
Oil on board, 3¼ x 5¾ inches
Signed lower left: W T. R.; on verso: Loften Islands

“William Trost Richards’s View of Loften Islands, Norway sits quaintly in our gallery, measuring just 3¼ x 5¾ inches. Richards depicts a warm light shining against the Loften Islands. Lush pinks and greens dot the painting’s surface while purple shadows increase the brightness of the palette. Orange sailboats traverse the crashing waves in the foreground, imbuing the painting with a sense of movement. Even at this scale, Richards is able to depict a current that flows through every detail of this wonderfully intimate painting. View of Loften Islands, Norway reads like a memory to another place and time.” ―Mishele




Alison Kowalski is a Research Associate at Questroyal Fine Art. Originally from Ohio, Alison studied design and art history at Pratt Institute and received a Master of Arts from the Bard Graduate Center. Her interest in American paintings lies not only in their aesthetic qualities, but also in the experience of the artist and the context in which the work was created.