“Mr. Whittredge is poetical in his treatment of subjects. He loves repose and a wide diffusion of light. In color he is tender and harmonious.”
- “Worthington Whittredge” The Aldine, 1879
Dated 1862, Cold Spring, New York, from the Hudson captures a view of Bull Hill (Mt. Taurus), with Breakneck Ridge just behind, from a vantage point close to what is today known as Dockside Park in Cold Spring. The painting offers an open view of the mountains and the sweeping horizon beyond. There are wonderful details for the viewer to absorb, such as the delicate sunlit branches and leaves of the bending tree at left and the elements of humankind shown in the diminutive figures along the shore and the pair emerging from the dense forest, but the artist appears equally focused on transcribing the topography of the ridges and showing their impressive height in comparison to the village nestled below. The entire scene is rendered with a balanced palette and enveloped by a warm glow – qualities that came to define Whittredge’s work.
More information about this painting...
At the age of 85, Thomas Worthington Whittredge penned his autobiography, immortalizing his humorous anecdotes and insightful observations regarding the world of fine art. Though raised in a log cabin near Springfield, Ohio, this farmer’s son came to participate in an extraordinary number of cultural moments of American history. His stories include an enjoyable period spent in Dusseldorf during the 1850s when he posed in military garb as George Washington for American painter Emanuel Leutze’s famous work Washington Crossing the Delaware; a prolonged stay with the Beecher family as Harriet Beecher Stowe was writing the classic Uncle Tom’s Cabin; and even a brief friendship with the legendary scout Kit Carson. His ninety-year life reads as an epic adventure, but it is not surprising that the boy who grew up playing and fishing in Ohio’s forests would be so greatly impacted by nature’s wonders.
Today his work can be found in several prominent museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, and the Indianapolis Museum, among many others.
Estate, Coral Gables, Florida
To private collection, South Berwick, Maine, July 2022 to present
Old handwritten label on left stretcher: 24