Passing off of the Storm

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

Date: 1872

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 11 3/8 x 24 1/2 in. (28.9 x 62.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Thomas Kensett, 1874

Accession Number: 74.27


Inspired by his view from Contentment Island, near Darien, Connecticut, "Passing Off of the Storm" is a masterful example of the artist’s series known as his “Last Summer’s Work.” Kensett chose an unusually wide format for the small painting and provided no framing devices to mark the edges of the composition. Showing extreme sensitivity to gradations of tone, he applied broad areas of pure color interrupted only by subtle brushstrokes, such as those representing four diagonal reeds or markers in the left half of the canvas, a rowboat in the foreground, a tiny island, several white sailboats, and a very slight white wave or reflection on the otherwise placid surface of the water.