Sanford Robinson GiffordU.S. 1823-1880
Lake Scene 80.0035
Sanford Robinson Gifford is most remembered for works such as Lake Scene, with its curved sweep of deserted shoreline, and the mirrored surface of the water. Although Gifford began his career in New York as a portraitist, in 1843 he became attracted to the American landscape, departing on a sketching tour through the Catskill and Berkshire mountains in 1846. Frequent trips to Europe (once in the company of Albert Bierstadt) and to the American West as far as Alaska, satisfied Gifford's search for new and unique imagery and served as inspiration for some of his finest paintings. Thomas Cole was an overarching influence on most mid-century American landscapists, and directly influenced Gifford. However, Gifford preferred a "purer" landscape devoid of allegorical references and heroic scale. The artist is now most remembered as belonging to the "luminist" branch of the Hudson River School. These artists were drawn to qualities of subtle yet dramatic light and atmosphere and frequently painted uninhabited scenes. The end result evokes a quiet and an almost "airless" landscape, as in Lake Scene.
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