Hudson River School

Priya Vanparia : Art Lens

What is the Hudson River School?

  • Was a school group of American Landscape painters who were active within years of 1825-1880.
  • This school was America's first artistic fraternity.
  • Was a mid 19th century movement.
  • Was a school of American landscaping.
  • Paintings depicted a romantically styled thoughts, which helped induce new sensational techniques.
  • The painters believed individual and national feeling about American would help shape their art in a unique manner.
  • Thomas Cole was the founder of the Hudson Valley School, and he was the first important landscape painter in America.
  • Fredric Edwin Church was studied with cole, and participated in creating various paintings.

What techniques were used?

  • Landscape portraits, soothing, romantic.
  • Used light colors and some dark, which provided emphasis on American beauty.
  • Details, shapes and light created realism.
  • Paintings gave a sense of beauty and emotion.
  • Wanted to show tranquility (peace) of the American land.
  • Transcendentalist Thinking (Philosophical movement in early 19th century).

How does my piece resemble the pieces made in the Hudson river valley school during the antebellum period?

  • This piece resembles the pieces made in the Hudson River school during the antebellum period in that my piece uses vibrant colors, just how the Hudson River school did.
  • If you look at their paintings, they contain vast amounts of vegetation, water to some extent, as well as mountainous backgrounds. Similarly, in my piece, one can see the mountains in the background, as well as the water and vegetation surrounding it.
  • This piece also is a landscape portrait, similar to those done in the Hudson River school.
  • My landscape also had similar skies to the ones done in the examples given (sunset, sunrise skies).
  • Lastly, my landscape drawing resembles those done before the antebellum period in that it shows the beauty and colors the lands of American possessed during the antebellum period.

How does this art resemble the Antebellum period & American Identity?

This art resembles the Antebellum period and develops American Identity in that...


  • By displaying beautiful western land America possessed after England gave up it's the western land, under the sole concern that the land was "evil and wasteful."
  • They Americans believed that they had an integral piece of land that England had lost.
  • They had a piece of land where there was “abundance majestic wilderness, where sublime encounters with the divine might still take place.”
  • By creating beautiful landscapes, America as a whole was able to become a centripetal force in regards to the beauty their land possessed.
  • People learned that America should be based upon progress industrially with the harmony of nature’s presence, unlike that of England, where the wilderness was close to eradicated.

Final Piece : Original Landscape

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Works Cited

  • Watts, Tim. "Hudson River School." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.
  • "George Catlin." Photos/Illustrations. Cirker, Hayward and Blanche Cirker, eds. Dictionary of
  • American Portraits, 1967. American History. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.
  • "John James Audubon." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.
  • "Thomas Cole." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 9 Nov. 2015