Rocky Coast

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

c. 1860

Artist:

John Frederick Kensett
American, 1816–1872

About this artwork

Like the Impressionists, who emphasized light effects, painters of the Hudson River School focused on temporal conditions of the landscape to suggest specific atmospheres. In Rocky Coast, John Frederick Kensett depicted the shoreline on a hazy day, with calm water and gentle waves. The careful treatment of nature by the Hudson River School artists has been linked to the writings of Transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote in Nature (1836): “Standing on the bare ground,—my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space,—all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball. I am nothing. I see all.” The horizon line of Rocky Coast illustrates this idea, as the uninterrupted water appears infinite, suggesting that the ocean continues beyond the vision of the viewer.

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American Art

Artist

John Frederick Kensett

Title

Rocky Coast

Origin

United States

Date

1860

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

35.6 × 61 cm (14 × 24 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Brooks McCormick

Reference Number

1996.444

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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