Sunday, January 03, 2010

Hudson River School Style Landscape in an Oval Format

copyright 2010, Jan Blencowe, Connecticut, USA
River Valley View, 16x20, acrylic on canvas

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I've always wanted to paint on round and oval canvases. Since I have been beset by a lack of inspiration and general state of the blah's I decided that something unusual like this would coax the muse back into my heart, soul and brain.

In the 19th century it was quite fashionable to paint on rounds, ovals and cathedral shaped canvas. In fact in 1850 Edgar Allen Poe wrote a short story called The Oval Portrait.

I've included several examples below, not by the big name painters of the day, but by lesser, and unknown artits who were painting for the middle and upper classes, not necessarily the very wealthy.

They really are charming and have a genteel feel about them. I am exceptionally pleased with my first attempt. I am becoming more and more adept at using soft gel to help build up a beautiful, complex, rich and varied paint surface, which unfortunately you cannot see in the photo.  

I am, at the moment, on a hunt to find the perfect oval frame for this painting, I'll let you know when I find it!

John Williamson (1826-1885), A Venetian Sunset

William Hart, (1823-1894), Catskills Waterfall

   unknown, artist

unknown artist

 unknown artist

unknown artist


AutumnLeaves said...

Your work is so lovely and just fits right in with the examples of other artists that you have given. Antique stores often have oval frames and they are certainly gorgeous in their own right. Love the works of the unknown artists too!

Jim Puzinas said...

Jan, I thought I could add another observation to your blog. Many "oval" paintings from the 19th c are actually regular canvases that have an oval liner placed on top of the painting when framed. Oval framing techniques like this were very popular during the 19th c. This was also done for many watercolors as well. Perhaps, as you suggest, it is time to revisit this format.
Great historical post!

Jan Blencowe said...

AutumnLeaves Thanks for your lovely comments they always light up my day!

Jan Blencowe said...

Hi Jim,

Thanks so much for chiming in! You're the expert in this area an now I've learned somethnig new!

I just bought another oval canvas today! I think it is time we brought back ovals to the art scene!

I've noticed other tonalist artists like Deborah Paris and Brad Aldridge using cathedral frames and triptychs a definite throwback to the 19th century.