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The Essex Canal

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

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  • A work made of oil on canvas mounted on board.


c. 1896


Albert Pinkham Ryder
American, 1847–1917

About this artwork

Albert Pinkham Ryder was one of the most innovative artists of the late 19th century, creating reductive, yet expressive compositions out of thick, slowly worked paint, combined with glazes, varnishes, and unconventional materials. In The Essex Canal, a waterway faintly meanders from the green-hued foreground to a skim of blue along the horizon, with an expansive sky beyond. A younger generation of American artists celebrated Ryder as an important early modernist, who pushed toward abstraction and focused on the arduous process of painting itself as instrumental to one’s creative vision. Ryder’s reclusiveness only added to his intrigue and mythic status as an artist ahead of his time.


On View, Gallery 177


Arts of the Americas


Albert Pinkham Ryder


The Essex Canal


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1896


Oil on canvas mounted on board


41.3 × 52.1 cm (16 1/4 × 20 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Geist

Reference Number


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