A key member of the Hudson River School, Frederic Church (1826–1900) rose to fame as the creator of some of America’s most iconic landscape paintings. He also traveled abroad extensively, making trips to Jamaica, South America, Europe, and the Middle East. At home and away, Church made numerous plein air oil sketches of the landscapes he saw, some magnificent, some humble, many of them later subjects for his full-scale paintings.
Frederic Church and the Landscape Oil Sketch features some thirty sketches Church executed during his career. Many of these wonderful works come from Olana, the artist’s magnificent home overlooking the Hudson River. As Andrew Wilton’s essay explains, these informal and often spontaneous sketches played a vital role in the practice and pedagogy of landscape painting in American art just as they did in European art of the 19th century.