George Inness (1825-1894)
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Inness was an American landscape painter born in Newburgh, New York and was greatly influenced by the Hudson River School and Barbizon painters. Inness was a spiritual artist, who was inspired by the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg.
Inness moved with his family to New Jersey, where he studied under a travelling painter named John Jesse Barker. Inness eventually moved to New York City, supporting himself by working as a map engraver. He continued to seek out artists from whom he could learn. A French landscape painter, Régis Francois Gignoux, took an interest in Inness’ work and gave him a great deal of instruction and support. Inness also had formal training at the National Academy of Design. He was successful enough to open his own studio in New York City and exhibit regularly.
In 1851, Inness departed on a sponsored trip to Europe. Inness based himself out of Rome, renting a studio and befriending many artists. The artist made frequent trips to Paris, acquainting himself with the Barbizon School painters.
When Inness returned to the United States, he received an important commission from the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DLWRR). Inness was assigned to document the progress of the DLWRR and painted railroad station housing, railroad technology and the surrounding landscapes.
As Inness matured as a painter, he began making his epic, panoramic paintings. Inness describes changing weather patterns in the intensity of his skies, and his sense of spirituality greatly impacted his views on nature and his devotion to painting the landscape. Inness continued to paint and travel to the end of his life, when he suddenly died in Scotland watching the sunset.
Inness’ paintings are in museums and collections across Europe and the United States. Do you think you own a landscape painting by George Inness? Contact us. We are the George Inness experts.