Art Lesson--Analyzing Artwork of the Hudson River School

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Pg. 81 in notes packet
Art Lesson Analyzing Artwork of
the Hudson River School
The Hudson River School refers to a
group of artists led by Thomas Cole, an
immigrant from England.
Inspired by the natural beauty
of New York’s Hudson River
Valley and the Adirondack and
Catskills Mountains, the artists
of the Hudson River School
achieved fame by painting
romantic landscapes.
Rather than using nature as a mere backdrop for history paintings or portraits,
nature took center stage in their canvasses. Their scenes show the power and
beauty of America’s wilderness. Human figures were almost dwarfed into
insignificance by the majesty and grand proportions of nature.
Traditional painting where
people are the focus
vs.
Hudson River School
painting where nature is
the focus
Battle of Bunker Hill
John Trumbull
1786
Landscape with Figures A
Scene from The Last of
the Mohicans
Thomas Cole
1826
Instructions
Fill out the chart as you view the following
slides. For each picture, record in the
appropriate column the title of the work, the
last name of the artist, and the year it was
painted. In the 4th column, record what object
stands out to you as the prominent landscape
feature. In the 5th column, tell what the
humans are doing in the painting. (Hint: All but
one of the paintings have some human
activity.)
The Oxbow
Thomas Cole
1836
Kindred
Spirits
Asher
Durand
1849
Niagara
Frederick Edwin Church
1857
The Oregon Trail
Albert Bierstadt
1867
Cliffs of the Upper Colorado River
Thomas Moran
1882
Movement west into the Louisiana territory
and beyond increased during the 1840s.
American headed west in search of land and
economic opportunity. Do you think the
paintings of the Hudson River School might
have had an effect on Americans’ desire to
move west? Why or why not? Answer this
question at the bottom of pg. 81.
Keep this chart in your notes and then
complete the reading assignment about
Samuel F. B. Morse.
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