Western Gardens of Eden - Omar Arroyo

This gallery showcases the art of traditional realism in romantic style landscape paintings depicting early America. It explores textures, color hues, contrasts, and perspectives found in classic oil paintings rendered by some alumni from the Hudson River School. Featured artists include Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, Robert S. Duncanson, Asher Brown Durand, and Albert Bierstadt.  

Thomas Cole (1801-1848) is considered the founding father of the Hudson River School, which was a 19th century art movement greatly influenced by realism and romanticism. This painting depicts Adam and Eve in a paradise setting reflected by Cole. Light, value, contrast, and texture are very important elements in any composition. The paintings we are about to explore will clearly display just that.
Here, Thomas Cole depicts a romantic wilderness with what appears to be the Catskill Mountains set in the background. His use of color, value and contrast are strong in this piece. creating the illusion of day breaking through the evening sky, As light enters day, it touches everything in its path. Dark overtones in the foreground draw the viewers attention toward the far left. Perspective guides our eyes toward the right of the painting, creating visual movement. (O may the voice of music that so chime With the wild mountain breeze and rippling lake Ne'er wake the soul but to a keener sense Of nature's beauties. - Thomas Cole)
Born in 1826, Frederic Edwin Church was only 22 years old when he painted this exquisite Catskill morning scene. The values, contrasts, and color tones he uses to depict the early morning sky over the river clearly enhance the rock formations and terrain in the foreground. Light shines across the horizon line where the sky and and river meet. Also, There is a figure of a man in the lower left corner of the painting that could very well be him.
The high levels of contrast and value in this lovely landscape by Robert S. Duncanson, really make the texture of the terrain stand out against the pastel hued sky and cloud formations in the distance. The composition is symmetrically balanced, and displays great form and perspective. Duncanson had a real talent for detail, and In 1861, was declared best landscape painter in the West. Three individuals appear to be fishing in the foreground as well. I wonder if Duncanson included himself in this painting.
In this painting, Asher Brown Durand depicts an old man sitting under a tree observing the town he once knew as a child himself. This landscape is full of life, both young and old. We can see a couple of sail boats in the river and a church in the far distance. Durand uses all the elements and principles of design to fill the entire canvas. I really like the theme of this composition because I think many can relate to feeling nostalgic when visiting some place close to their heart.
Asher Durand displays high levels of texture and depth in this beautiful river landscape. Durand's use of light and value bring the river to life, mirroring the terrain of the landscape perfectly. His use of perspective enhances the movement of the river, while the dark color tones bring balance to whole composition.
This piece of work is quite interesting because Durand focused a great deal on the foreground of the landscape. The texture from the bark of the trees, the leaves and the moss, the wild flowers and the surrounding rocks are all detailed effectively.
Albert Bierstadt was a phenomenal landscape painter in his day. Bierstadt was also a member of the Hudson River School, but he is most famous for his photographic-like renderings of Yosemite and the West. Bierstadt was definitely a master in the elements and principles of art. His ability to visually display his subject matter is just astounding. The next four compositions will clearly illustrate why I admire his work so much.
Rocky Mountain Landscape is a marvelous piece of work by Bierstadt, depicting the West in 1870. He had a unique way of painting landscapes in high definition quality, accompanied by extravagant color tones and detailed structural formations. While observing Bierstadt's work, we clearly see what separates him from the rest of his peers.
Bridal Veil Falls is simply amazing. The composition is bright and balanced. It appears as if Bierstadt painted this landscape through a camera lens. I believe Bierstadt's mastery of realism and romanticism, was way ahead of his time.
In my opinion, California Springs is one of the most eccentric pieces of work by Albert Bierstadt. The colors he uses in this painting are uncommon, yet completely appealing. This composition is absolutely stunning. It feels extremely euphoric by nature; yet is visually regal and majestic as a whole.
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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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