Frederic Edwin Church
American, 1826-1900
Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

In the spring and autumn seasons, Frederic Edwin Church was known to travel extensively by foot, collecting sketches he would later turn into paintings in winter. As one of the most prominent figures in the Hudson River School of American landscape painters, Church captured the phenomena of his natural surroundings, such as waterfalls, rainbows, sunsets, and volcanoes, in massive dimensions with astounding verisimilitude. During early study under landscape painter Thomas Cole, Church developed his eye by joining Cole in sketching the Catskill and Berkshire Mountains. Upon establishing his own studio in New York, Church traveled extensively; inspired by the writings of Prussian explorer Alexander Von Humboldt, he traversed South America, and later traveled to the North Atlantic to sketch icebergs, Jamaica to capture the tropics, and Palestine to retrace Jesus’s footsteps.