Frederic Edwin Church

American , 1826 - 1900

Frederic Edwin Church was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1826. He studied under local artists Alexander Hamilton Edwards and Benjamin Hutchins Coe. In 1844, he became a student of Hudson River School painter, Thomas Cole. While studying under Cole, Church absorbed his teacher’s methods and became an advocate of his epic style.

In 1848, Church gained the status of academician at the National Academy of Design in New York. As he came under the influence of the writings of English theorist, John Ruskin, Church began focusing more precisely on specific effects of weather and atmosphere.

He became the first American artist to visit South America in 1853. Five years later, he set off on a second expedition, traveling to Ecuador with Louis Remy Mignot. During this trip, Church filled journals and sketchbooks with records of the vegetation and countryside.

He continued to travel throughout the 1860s, using the inspiration to produce visions of the tropics. Church’s artistic activity was curtailed by 1880, due to ill health and he died in New York City in 1900.


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