About This Artwork

George Inness
American, 1825–1894

Early Morning, Tarpon Springs, 1892

Oil on canvas
107.2 x 82.2 cm (42 3/16 x 32 3/8 in.)
Signed lower left: "G. Inness 1892"

Edward B. Butler Collection, 1911.32

Like Home of the Heron, Early Morning, Tarpon Springs was inspired by the light and landscape of Florida. Evoking the pale pinks and blues of sunrise, the composition features a figure dwarfed amidst trees. He appears to be part of the landscape; the color of his pants mirrors that of the tree trunks, and his red hat echoes the sun. George Inness incorporated tenets of his Swedenborgian beliefs into his work, including the idea that objects in the natural world are symbolic of those in the spiritual world. This allowed him to merge his interest in metaphysics with his artistic output, using landscape as a vehicle.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Ohio, Mansfield Art Center, The American Landscape, March 8-April 5, 1981, cat. 11.

Nagaoka, Japan, Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Masterworks of Modern Art from The Art Institute of Chicago, Apr. 20–Mar. 29, 1994, cat. 49; traveled to Nagoya, Japan, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, June 10–July 24, 1994, Yokohama, Japan, Yokohama Museum of Art, Aug. 6–Sept. 25, 1994.

Publication History

Judith A. Barter et al., American Arts at The Art Institute of Chicago: From Colonial Times to World War I (Art Institute of Chicago, 1998) p. 292, no. 75.

Michael Quick, George Inness, a Catalogue Raisonne, vol. 2 (Rutgers University Press, 2007), no. 1075, pl. 231.

Judith A. Barter et al, The Age of American Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2011), no. 56.

"Paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago, Highlights of the Collection," (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2017) p. 77.

Ownership History

Reinhardt Galleries, Chicago, 1911; sold to Edward B. Butler, Chicago, 1911; given to the Art Institute, 1911.

Interpretive Resources

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