Art/ Collection/ Art Object

A Study of Trap Rock (Buttermilk Falls)

Artist:
John Henry Hill (American, West Nyack, New York 1839–1922)
Date:
1863
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of the artist, 1882
Accession Number:
82.9.7
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 761
The artist and donor of this picture, described it as “the most elaborately literal study from nature I ever made. 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 one of a small band of New York–based painters who were disciples of the English artist John Ruskin and admirers of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, which advocated “truth in nature.” Here,he achieved remarkable geological and botanical accuracy while not neglecting to include a self-portrait at the lower right. The term “trap rock” refers to the stone outcropping, which had been formed by molten rock forcing itself through rifts in the sandstone at a site near Nyack.
Signature: [at lower left]: J.H. Hill 1863
the artist (until 1882)
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