William Hart

William M. Hart

 William Hart (1823–1894) was a Scottish-born American painter who, like his younger brother James McDougal Hart, became an important landscape and cattle painter. He is best known for his ability to convey light and atmospheric effects, and many of his paintings employ pleasing contrasts of soft light and shadow.

Hart was born in Paisley, Scotland, and taken to America in early youth by his family. He studied under the French academic genre and figure painter Jules-Joseph Lefebvre (1836–1911). Like his brother, he was first apprenticed to a carriage painter in Albany, New York before he spent time as a portrait painter. He returned to Scotland, probably in the 1840s, where he studied for three years. Upon his return to America, Hart began focusing on landscape painting. He exhibited his first work at the National Academy of Design in 1848, became a full member in 1858, and showed works there regularly through the mid-1870s. Hart settled in New York City, where he opened a studio in the Tenth Street Studio Building in 1858. He was a member of the American Watercolor Society, and was its president from 1870 to 1873.

William Hart (1823–1894) Early Landscape, 1849
Oil on canvas, 26 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches
Signed and dated lower right center: W.HART / 1849

Image courtesy of Questroyal Fine Art, LLC