Sunday, May 22, 2022

1901 Spring Idyll by George Henry Boughton (1833–1905) - An American 20C Personification

George Henry Boughton (American artist, 1833–1905) Spring Idyll 1901.

 George Henry Boughton, (1833-1905) was born in Norwich, England as a farmer's son, Boughton emigrated to Albany, New York with his family at age 3. At 19, & without any formal training, he sold his 1st painting, The Wayfarer , at the American Art Union exhibition. 

His influences included Edward May, with whom he studied during a visit to Paris, & Édouard Frère. In 1862, 2 of Boughton's paintings were exhibited in the British Institution. He submitted 2 pieces to the Royal Academy in 1863, & over the next 42 years Boughton exhibited 87 pieces there. He made London his permanent home in 1862, married Katherine Louise Cullen in 1865, became a full member of the Royal Academy in 1896, & died in 1905 of heart disease.

Remembered as a figure & genre painter, Boughton illustrated works by American writers Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, & Washington Irving. He also wrote a narrative about his travels in Holland, Sketching Rambles in Holland (1885). 

He is mentioned by contemporaries as one of the most gifted artists of his day. An 1870 art critic suggests that Boughton was a humorist as well as a "poet-painter," & his pictures "have always had something in them--something well rendered, & something personal." His work was also admired by Vincent Van Gogh.