Second Style Wall Painting, from the Villa of Livia, Augustus’ wife, Primaporta, Italy, ca. 30-20 BCE. In ancient Rome, the rich could enjoy spring gardenscapes all year with these trompe l’eoil walls
Master of the Upper Rhine, Garden of Paradise , ca. 1415
Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, ca. 1482, Renaissance Italy
The Swing by Jean-Honore Fragonard, 1767 Rococo art of the 18 th century focused on the aristocratic class at play in lush landscapes and gardens
The beloved is like a kingly palace in a majestic setting:
5 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes as the pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim; thy nose is like the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.
6 Thy head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thy head like purple; the king is held captive in the tresses thereof.
During the early 19 th century, America imagined itself kingly and majestic as well
WHOEVER has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Kaatskill mountains. They are a dismembered branch of the great Appalachian family, and are seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it over the surrounding country. Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed, every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled, they are clothed in blue and purple , and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky, but, sometimes, when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of gray vapors about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory. – Description of the Catskill Mountains in “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving
The Hudson River School in America The painters did in art what the writers did in literature
The Hudson River School, Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak, 1863, by Albert Bierstadt, one of the school’s founders
Twilight in the Wilderness, 1860, Frederic Edwin Church, another Hudson River School artist
Thomas Cole, The Ox Bow , 1836, from the Hudson River School in America