A Study of Trap Rock (Buttermilk Falls)

John Henry Hill American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 761

"The most elaborately literal study from nature I ever made," Hill wrote of this work. "It was done in July and o[c]cupied me nearly every afternoon in the month while our civil war was going on." Hill was a member of the American Pre-Raphaelites, a band of artists who were followers of the English critic John Ruskin and the British Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Advocating "truth to nature," the group executed precise landscapes exclusively out of doors. Hill’s inclusion at the lower right of a portrait of Thomas Charles Farrer, the American Pre-Raphaelites’ founder, testifies to the group’s commitment to sketching in nature. Hill’s painting shows a quarry near Nyack known as "Trap Rock," formed by millions of years of volcanic rifting.

A Study of Trap Rock (Buttermilk Falls), John Henry Hill (American, West Nyack, New York 1839–1922), Oil on canvas, American

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