Landscape with a Lake

Washington Allston b Charleston. SC. 1779. d Cambridge. MA. 1843 Landscape with a Lake. 1804. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts. Boston,

Washington Allston b Charleston. SC. 1779. d Cambridge. MA. 1843
Landscape with a Lake. 1804. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts. Boston,

Landscape with a Lake Allston Washington

A path with a figure by a lake leads the viewer into a stark landscape that has a haunting sense of emptiness. The plants in the foreground, the trees and gnarled trunks are all carefully rendered in threat detail.

Allston was the greatest of North Amenca’s Romantic painters. His landscapes glorify the natural wonders of the New World. As a young man he studied in Ixrndon (‘where he was a pupil of his compatriot Benjamin West; and Rome. His early landscape paintings were directly inspired by the French artist Claude, who was much admired in I.ngland at the time. However, he soon developed a more sublime, melodramatic conception of the landscape in the manner of J M W Turner and John Martin. Allston’s portraits and canvases on scriptural themes won him great acclaim, while the poetry he wrote was somewhat less enthusiastically received.