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Settling in New Hope in a home overlooking the Delaware River in 1916, John Fulton Folinsbee began painting winter scenes of the river and canal with a broken-brush technique and in a broad and vigorous style that captured the temporal effects of light and atmosphere. While his small canvases were often painted direct from nature, many of his larger canvases were painted in his studio from sketches. After traveling to England and France in 1926, his work changed. His colors became more somber, his treatment of light more dramatic, and, as River Ice suggests, his work more expressionist in approach while also exhibiting a stronger emphasis on structural design.

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