John Frederick Kensett (American, Cheshire, Connecticut 1816–1872 New York)
Oil on canvas
34 1/4 x 27 1/4 in. (87.6 x 69.2 cm)
Gift of Thomas Kensett, 1874
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 761
The simplicity of line, form and arrangement that marks Kensett's late coastal landscapes lends to most of them an appealing repose. Here the mood shifts to subtle tension, in the dialogue between the spiny limbs of the vigilant pines and the enclosing sky. Kensett was a master in the expressive, if understated, use of trees. In this painting, their iconic, even anthropomorphic, qualities, silhouetted against the brooding firmament, evoke Rembrandt's etching, "The Three Trees," a classic of western landscape imagery that Kensett would have known well.
Marking: [stamped on canvas on the back]: WILLIAMS STEVENS WILLIAMS / Looking Glass Ware Rooms / & ART REPOSITORY / Engravings Art Materials / 353 BROADWAY NEW YORK / 27 x 34
the artist, New York (until d. 1872); his brother, Thomas Kensett, New York (1872–74)