Monday, 8 February 2016

View of Greenwood Lake, New Jersey - Jasper Francis Cropsey (1845)

Jasper Francis Cropsey's painting Greenwood Lake depicts a picturesque view of nature. It is inspired by Cropeys travels of New York and New jersey where he hoped to find an idyllic, picturesque setting to paint, The colours are quite dull, consisting of greens, oranges and browns which would suggest that this is Autumn. The painting enhances the vastness of the setting due to the mountainous background and the huge amounts of land on the painting, therefore portraying the sheer size of the land in the American West. The artist has presented the landscape as being beautifully simplistic free from human intervention; this makes it natural and vulnerable to the threat of human intervention in the future. There is a sense of the sublime in this painting as it shows the greatness of the natural landscape through the vegetation and forestry as well as the mountains in the distance. As the atrist had also spent time travelling in London this inspired him to capture the aspect of the change in seasons in order "to convey an idea of the vastness and magnitude of the American landscape, the clearness and beauty of the atmosphere,and the richness and variety of the colour in the foliage during the Indian Summer period of the year." Due to the portrayal of size and vastness in the painting the danger of the sublime could be lurking in the forests as it is a place of mystery and danger that could be a threat to the peace of the natural landscape. However as there are no humans in this picture there does not seem to be a threat but due to the time the painting was created Westward expansion was at its peak, therefore human intervention could ruin the tranquillity the artist has captured.

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