Throwback Thursdays Art – w/ Update!

Throwback Thursdays Art – w/ Update!

Every Thursday, as part of my personal “enriched environment” initiative, I post a piece of art, usually from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which recently released online some 400,000 high-resolution images of its collection.  All artwork will show a sun (or sunlight) somewhere. 

I won’t name the piece or the artist, but instead invite you to study the art and post a comment addressing one or more of these questions:

  • What is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?

If you have another idea, run with it.

Special Update!  The New York Times website does this same exercise every Monday with a news photo that is uncaptioned and contains no text (click!).  The Times asks viewers the same three questions:

  • What is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?

However, at the end of the week, the Times posts the background information on the picture.  So, I’ve decided to do the same.  I’ll still post an unlabeled piece of art on Thursday.  But return on Sunday (for the Sunny Sundays post!) and you’ll find an update on the artwork here.

Note:  To embiggen the image, click on it! 



View Near Fort Montgomery (No. 22 (later changed to No. 18) of The Hudson River Portfolio)

Series/Portfolio:  The Hudson River Portfolio

Etcher:  John Hill (American (born England), London 1770–1850 Clarksville, New York)

Artist:  after William Guy Wall (Irish, Dublin 1792–after 1864 Ireland (active America))

Date:  1822

Medium:  Aquatint printed in color with hand-coloring; first state of three (Koke)

Classification:  Prints

                           

Fort Montgomery sits on the west bank of the Hudson south of West Point and, to be positioned correctly in the Portfolio, should follow plate 17–here it is bound in at the end. John Agg’s related text states, “the accompanying view looks down the Hudson, and affords one of those happy groupings of mountain and water scenery, which, among the windings of the highlands, are so abundant, as to render selection difficult. The artist, however, has displayed a judicious discretion in making choice of a subject which combines historical interest with picturesque beauty. In the fall of the year 1777, the vicinity of Fort Montgomery was the scene of military operations of no mean importance. This fort and Fort Clinton were considered the main defenses of the highlands, and were placed under the command of Governor Clinton, and garrisoned with the best troops…The contemplation of its now quiet verdure calls up a thousand associations of ideas, which clothe the artist’s skill in new charms, and kindles up a thousand lights of memory.” The print comes from the Hudson River Portfolio, a monument of American printmaking produced through the collaboration of artists, a writer, and publishers. In the summer of 1820, the Irish-born Wall toured and sketched along the Hudson, then painted a series of large watercolors. Prints of equal scale were proposed—to be issued to subscribers in sets of four—and John Rubens Smith hired to work the plates. Almost immediately, Smith was replaced by the skilled London-trained aquatint engraver John Hill, who finished the first four plates, and produced sixteen more by 1825. Over the next decade, the popularity of the Portfolio stimulated new appreciation for American landscape, and prepared the way for the Hudson River School.

About The Author: Bruce

3 Comments

  1. Aisha
    Reply

    I don’t understand what the men on the raft are doing and why they have a fire burning in the middle of it.

  2. Chris Tempe
    Reply

    This is an interesting picture because it shows the Hudson River but does not seem to be part of the Hudson River school of painting. There are no dead, dark tree stumps in the foreground, and the water that’s close to the viewer is as light and as bright as the water in the distance. However, overhead the clouds close by are dark, and off in the distance the clouds are bright and reflecting the sun, as is the mountain off in the distance. I like the two sailboats in the distance, and note that one is gaff-rigged and the other has just a mast and a boom for the sail. Like Aisha, I have no idea what the men on the raft are up to. And it’s a mighty big raft!

  3. Collin
    Reply

    There seem to be a lot of triangles in this picture. The light-colored water (the part of the river that’s reflecting the sky) is one. The mountains are others. the men on the boat with the rising smoke in the middle and the poles on the left twisting upwards suggest another.

    THe title says, “The View Near Fort Montgomery,” but the fort is nowhere to be seen.

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