Renown as one of America’s finest landscape painters, George Inness gave of himself completely to create his art. His son George Jr., also an artist, described his father’s labors as “frenzied”, often watching as he worked a single canvas to the point of exhaustion.
An affliction of epilepsy complicated his entire life. Born in Newburgh, New York, Inness’s art career began with a two-year apprenticeship to a New York map engraver.
Once exposed, creating art became his passion. Influenced early by the work of Thomas Cole and Asher Brown Durand, his self-taught style initially followed their naturalist traditions of the Hudson River School. After visits to Europe, his style transformed to reflect the romantic realism of the Barbizon artists. His religious adoption of the beliefs of Swendenborgianism, assisted him in defining the spiritual imagery within his landscapes.
His art has influenced every American landscape artist whom followed, including his contemporary James M. Whistler, and his work continues to gain new admiration.