Olive Trees at Tivoli

George Inness American

Not on view

Widely regarded in the late nineteenth century as America’s premier landscape painter, Inness played a pivotal role in the transition from the literalism of the landscapes of the Hudson River School to a more subjective style inspired by French painting. Motivated by the increasing popularity of watercolor in the United States in the 1870s, he began experimenting in the medium during an extended trip to Italy (1870–74). He made fewer than fifty watercolors; they were never exhibited or sold, but they inspired his oil paintings. This view of the countryside near Tivoli balances a picturesque composition, fine draftsmanship, and painterly breadth. Centered on the horizon is a minute but distinct cupola, probably Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, about eighteen miles away.

Olive Trees at Tivoli, George Inness (American, Newburgh, New York 1825–1894 Bridge of Allan, Scotland), Gouache, watercolor, and graphite on blue wove paper with colored fibers, American

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