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The Coast of Genoa by Jasper F. Cropsey


  • Dorothy Jenkins Gallery (map)
  Jasper Francis Cropsey, 'The Coast of Genoa,' 1854, Oil on canvas, 48x72 inches, Image courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Jasper Francis Cropsey, 'The Coast of Genoa,' 1854, Oil on canvas, 48x72 inches, Image courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Jasper F. Cropsey – a second generation Hudson River School painter - was born in 1823 on his father’s Staten Island farm in New York. At the young age of fourteen he began his training as an architect under Joseph Trench. It was here where he also developed his talent in drawing and painting. By the time he was nineteen, Cropsey was exhibiting at the National Academy where his work was shown next to paintings of the founding members of the Hudson River School, including his idol Thomas Cole. He was the youngest artist to be elected as an associate member at the National Academy, and later became a full member.

In 1847, Cropsey sailed to Europe for the first time with his new bride, spending most of this time in Thomas Cole’s Rome studio. His two years in Italy were among his most productive. His drawings from that period are considered among his most beautiful and reflected his deep response to the historic landscapes there. For the rest of his career, Cropsey would create oil paintings of Italian scenes based on the many sketches and studies he did during this time.

His love of America, its untamed landscapes and majestic vistas, remained his primary subject upon his return and for the rest of his career. After extensive travel throughout New York State, he and his wife finally settled in Hastings on Hudson at the home they called “Ever Rest.” During this period his paintings were of local subjects or based upon the great many drawings he produced throughout his lifetime. Cropsey was the founder of the American Society of Painters in Watercolor (now the American Watercolor Society) – a medium to which he turned after suffering a stroke in 1893. Jasper Francis Cropsey died at Ever Rest in 1906 at the age of seventy-seven.

Later Event: March 17
Creative Youth