Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GIFFORD, Sandford Robinson, painter, born in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York, 10 July, 1823; died in New York, 29 August, 1880. He studied at Brown in 1842-'4, and, removing to New York in 1845, was a pupil in perspective, drawing, and anatomy in the studio of John Rubens Smith, also attending lectures on anatomy. At this time he began to paint portraits. In 1846 he made a pedestrian tour in the Catskill mountains, and among the Berkshire hills, where his attention was directed for the first time to landscapes. In 1851 he was elected an associate and three years later a member of the National academy. In 1855-'7 he studied in Europe. When the civil war began, he joined the 7th New York regiment, and some sketches of bivouac and battle are reminiscences of his six months' experience in the army. During the next ten years he visited Colorado, California, Utah, Oregon, British Columbia, and the Rocky mountains. He was a member of the Century and Union league clubs, and his associates were attached to him for qualities that he possessed distinct from his merits as an artist. At a meeting of the Century club, held the day after his death, John F. Weir delivered an address on his life and character; Worthington Whittredge, another entitled "Reminiscences of Gifford" "Jervis McEntee," one on "Gifford, the Friend, the Artist, the Man" and poems were read by Edmund C. Stedman and Richard H. Stoddard. Mr. Gifford's paintings are remarkable for tenderness of tone and brilliancy of color. His pictures are the interpretation of the profounder sentiments of nature rather than of her superficial aspects, His most successful works are "Baltimore in 1862" (1862); "Morning in the Adirondacks" (1867); "Mount Mansfield" (1869); "San Giorgio, Venice" (1870); "Tivoli" (1871); "Fishing-Boats" (1873); "Pallanza," "Sunset on the Sweet Water, Wyoming," "Venetian Sails" (1874); "At Beni-Hassan" and "Near Palermo" (1876); "Leander's Tower," "Sunset on the Hudson," and "Fire Island Beach" (1877); and "Sunset, Bay of New York" (1878). At the Centennial of 1876 Mr. Gifford was commended for his landscape paintings. His "San Giorgio," "Venice," and "Mount Renter" were exhibited at the Paris salon (1878).
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