Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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INNESS, George, landscape-painter, born in New-burg, New York, 1 May, 1825. His parents removed to Newark, New Jersey, where he early learned drawing and the rudiments of oil-painting. He has from his youth been subject to epilepsy, which has interfered materially with the consecutive pursuit of his art. When sixteen years old he went to New York to study engraving, but ill health obliged him to return home, where he continued to sketch and paint. When twenty years of age he passed a month in the studio of Regis Gignoux in New York city, which is all the regular instruction he ever had. He then began landscape-painting in New York city, made two visits to Europe, and lived in Florence and Rome for some time. For several years after his return he made his home near Boston, where some of his best pictures were painted. In 1862 he went to reside at Eagleswood, near Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and a few years later removed to New York city. He was chosen a National academician in 1868. From 1871 to 1875 he again resided in Italy. The art life of Inness is marked by two distinct styles, the first indicating careful finish and conscientious regard for details. The second style, formed with the expanding grasp of the principles of art, shows a richer appreciation of the truths of nature, is broad and vigorous, paying higher regard to masses than to details. The quality of his paintings is very uneven, as he is sometimes careless, and often mars a good work by eccentric and experimental devices. Yet no painter has represented the aspects of nature in the American climate with deeper feeling, a finer sentiment of light and color, or a better command of technical resources. He has been more influenced by the French school of landscape-painting than any other American artist, yet his style is distinct and original. He is a follower of Swedenborg, and many of his paintings have a spiritual or allegorical significance. Among his best pictures are "The Sign of Promise," "Peace and Plenty," "Going out of the Woods," " A Vision of Faith," "The Valley of the Shadow of Death," "The Apocalyptic Vision of the New Jerusalem and River of Life," "A Passing Storm," "Summer Sunshine and Shadow," "Summer Afternoon," "Twilight," "Light Triumphant," "Pine Grove," "Barbarini Villa," "Joy after the Storm," " Viewnear Rome," "Washing Day near Perugia," "The Mountain Stream," "Autumn," "Italian Landscape," "Passing Clouds," " The Afterglow," "The Morning Sun," and "Delaware Water-Gap." His "American Sunset " was selected as a representative work of American art for the Paris exposition of 1867. In 1878 he exhibited at the Paris exposition "St. Peter's, Rome, from the Tiber" and " View near Medfield, Massachusetts," and in the National academy" An Old Roadway, Long Island." In 1882 he exhibited at the academy exhibition in New York city "Under the Green Wood"; in 1883, "A Summer Morning ": in 1885, "A Sunset" and "A Day in June" :" in 1886, "In the Woods," "Sunset on the Sea-Shore," and "Durham Meadows."--His son, George, artist, born in Paris, France, 5 January, 1854, was in 1870-'4 a pupil of his father in Rome, and of Bonnat in Paris in 1875. He resided in Boston, Massachusetts, till 1878, then occupied a studio with his father in New York city, devoted himself to animal painting, beginning to exhibit at the National academy in 1877. For many years his residence and studio have been in Montclair, New Jersey His style is dashing and forcible. Among his works are "The Ford" and "Patience," exhibited in 1877; "At the Brook," and "The Pride of the Dairy," sent to the academy in 1878; "Pasture at Chemung"; "Monarch of the Herd"; "Returning to Work" (1886); and "After the Combat," and "A Mild Day" (1887).
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