A Study of Trap Rock (Buttermilk Falls)
- John Henry Hill (American, West Nyack, New York 1839–1922)
- Oil on canvas
- 20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Gift of the artist, 1882
- Accession Number:
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.