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Happy birthday, America

The wilderness

…was one of the typical motifs in American identity – the landscape became a national, religious symbol. The luminists around 1850, with painters like Frederick Church and Albert Bierstadt, gave the landscape an extra dimension with meditative images of transparent, luminous color.

Albert Bierstadt: Among The Sierra Nevada Mountains California, 1868

Hudson River School

Martin Johnson Heade (Hudson River School) painted enlarged, transparent close-ups of exotic flowers, in a natural environment and created fairy tale magic.

Martin Johnson Heade, Cattleya Orchid and Three Brazilian Hummingbirds, 1871, National Gallery of Art

The Transparent Landscape

O’Keeffe sometimes used the same elements of transparency and pure color in her flowers, but also in her landscapes.

O’Keeffe: Red Hills, Lake George, 1926

“Everybody was looking for the great American this, and the great American that, so I painted Red, White and Blue.O’Keeffe: Cow’s Skull, Red, White and Blue, 1931

There is no limitation of Europe in her – it’s a force, a liberating free force.

Constantin Brancusi

Books

Luminist Horizons: The Art and Collection of James A. Suydam

American Light: the Luminist Movement 1850-1875: Paintings, Drawings and Photographs

American Light: The Luminist Movement, 1850-1875

Summer break

The blog is to be continued on August 22…

Have a great summer.

/Christina

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