Inness was born in 1852 outside Newburgh, New York, in the Hudson River Valley and he dedicated his life to capturing the pastoral scenes and seasonal changing landscapes of New York and New England with periodical journeys to Europe.
"Two years younger than Jasper Cropsey and Sanford Gifford, one year older than Frederic Church, Inness was the contemporary of a group of American landscape painters closely joined by shared styles ideals and by a common ancestry in the artistic achievement of Thomas Cole. They were America's most admired artists in the decade or so that preceded the Civil War; for instance no price as great as that paid in 1859 for Church's Heart of the Andes had ever been paid for a contemporary American landscape painting. Such artists as Cropsey, Gifford, and Church traveled widely to England, Europe, the Near East, South America, the Arctic, and the American West. But they were so closely associated with the Hudson River valley, especially the Catskills Mountains, and so fully captured its sense of place that they came to be called the Hudson River School." (N. Cikovsky, Jr., George Inness, p 11-12)
Hudson Valley Landscape, a peaceful, summer, pastoral scene, is typical of Inness's exploration into sensitivity of atmospheric climate and expression -- the seedlings of modernism. As any true artist in any field, the explorer and instinct to rebel from was considered common procedure or what was put into popular practice by contemporaries was what Inness found himself doing. "When they [his contemporaries] painted nature's sublime vastness, Inness painted with poetic intimacy. When they painted tightly, he painted broadly. When they were most intensely American, he went to Italy and France and fell under the spell of foreign art." (George Inness, p. 12)
Landscape was painted in 1866 and finally by this time in Inness's life he was just starting to feel a critical acceptance from the art community where his contemporaries had been praised for several years prior. Upon his death he was adored and praised for his artistry and talents, unlike some of his contemporaries who died unknown and not acknowledged by the art community upon there passing.
This painting will be included in Michael Quick's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.