THOMAS DOUGHTY (1791–1856)
Hudson River Landscape, 1852
Oil on canvas, 38 x 48 in.
Signed and dated (at lower right): T. Doughty / 1852
EX COLL.: sale, Christie’s New York, December 5, 1996, no. 37; to [Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York]; to private collection, and by descent, 1997 until the present
Doughty painted this work while living and working in New York City on one of his many trips up the Hudson River. This view is from the eastern side of the Hudson River, presumably near Hudson, New York. The location was obviously an important one to Doughty, who showed the small house that appears in this painting from various viewpoints in a handful of other works from the late 1840s and early 1850s. It seems this canvas depicts a late-summer afternoon, when the leaves have already begun to turn, the sailboats enjoy one last excursion before winter, and a lone hunter walks through the woods carrying his prey. Hudson River Landscape captures what was unique about Doughty: his uncompromising devotion to the American countryside, and his belief that it could stand alone without including the grand histories and allegories so typical of nineteenth-century American landscape painting.