This large beautifully detailed oil painting was created by American artist Samuel Lancaster Gerry (1813-1891). Gerry was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where he opened a studio and became one of the leaders of the White Mountain school of painting in the 1840’s, painting in the Hudson River style, with influences thought to include Asher Durand and Thomas Cole. Gerry was largely self-taught, served an apprenticeship during 1835-1836. In 1837, he toured England, France, Italy and Switzerland. He returned to Italy in 1850-54 and again from 1873-75. He was a founder of the Boston Art Club (1854) and its first president.
The grandeur and ancient mysteries of Italy are key elements in The Artist’s Dream, perhaps his masterpiece. Gerry has placed the recumbent artist, George Loring Brown (1814-1889), in a verdant oasis beneath a mountain waterfall with ghostly spirits drifting skyward. The reclining artist inhabits a place of earthly stability on the edge of imagination (architectural images resembling the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli and the Doric-columned Tempe at Paestum) are shrouded in mist. Brown, also Boston-born, devoted most of his productive years to painting in Rome and Florence.
Exhibitions and collections include: the Boston Athenaeum; the Boston Art Club, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts; and Vose Galleries, Boston.
Oil on canvas, signed lower right, and housed in perhaps its original giltwood frame, with minor losses to the frame. Dimensions: 54 in. h x 36 in. w, actual; 88 in. h x 50 in. w, framed.
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