John Frederick Kensett (American, Cheshire, Connecticut 1816–1872 New York)
Oil on canvas
32 x 48 in. (81.3 x 121.9 cm)
Gift of H. D. Babcock, in memory of his father, S. D. Babcock, 1907
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 759
At West Point, New York, the Hudson River flows between picturesque mountains, to both the east and the west. The region was a favorite of many of the Hudson River School artists, including Kensett, who painted numerous views of the site seen here. His vantage point was a spot near Fort Putnam, a corner of which can be glimpsed at the far right, looking north toward the bend in the river. The disparate levels of terrain permitted great variety in the depiction of light and shadow: for example, the dark foliage of the trees in the deep ravine provides a strong contrast to the sunlit rocky space in the immediate foreground, at the base of the fort.
Signature: [at lower right]: J F. [monogram] K 57
Sheperd Gandy, New York (1857–75; sale, Somerville Art Gallery, New York, March 28, 1875, no. 132); Samuel D. Babcock, New York (1875–1902); his son, H. D. Babcock, New York (1902–7)