October in the Marshes

Artist: John Frederick Kensett (American, Cheshire, Connecticut 1816–1872 New York)

Date: 1872

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 18 1/2 x 30 1/2 in. (47 x 77.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Thomas Kensett, 1874

Accession Number: 74.25


For Kensett in his late career, such relatively elaborate compositions dominated by terrestrial motifs that suppress the prospect into distant space were unusual. As in his "Twilight in the Pines, Darien, Connecticut", Kensett's vision here may have been informed by exposure to French Barbizon-style painting or its reflection in the art of George Inness, whose work began to command favorable attention from critics and patrons in the post–Civil War years. However, marsh scenes such as this one have precedents in Kensett's own work of the early 1860s, when he painted several brooding portraits of the marshes at Newport and Middletown, Rhode Island.