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Based on the preparatory sketches,
Oil and pencil on card.
Cooper- Hewitt, Design Museum. ref. DP 1917- 4 - 664A.
Graphite on off-white paper. Olana,
Cat. No. 238. OL. 1980. 1428.
Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, New York..

'Frederic Edwin Church was the American Nation's First Landscape Painter when Landscape painting was the Nation's First Art.'
The Tribune.

'A Great Work of Art is a Delight and a Lesson.'
Theodore Winthrop.

Rocky Forest Pool 1857
Sight Size: 62.8 cms x 77.7 cms. 24 ins x 303/5 ins

Rocky Forest Pool 1857 exemplifies the pristine clarity of vision that characterizes Church's more mature draughtsmanship and reveals luminously the sublime spirituality of nature.

'After 1855, Church gradually moved towards an entirely new conception of the American Landscape in which wilderness became the dominant theme. Also during the 50's there was 'a new awareness of the ecological value of the wilderness within the sensitive balance of nature.'

'Man has for too long forgotten that the Earth was given to him for usufruct alone, and not for consumption, still less for profligate waste.' Man in Nature: George P. Marsh. By the mid 50's, Church - aware of this - increasingly came to doubt his formerly unquestioning faith in 'the sanctity of National progress and the attainability of the Pastoral Ideal.'

Rocky Forest Pool 1857 depicts 'the perfect and sublime wilderness' where, 'no sawn tree stumps mar the foreground and there is no saw dust from the mill' and for the first time in his work of the 50's, there is no presence of Man nor of his detritus. The domestic, pastoral and rural promise of Home by the Lake 1852 * and A Country Home 1854 has given way to a luminous pantheistic vision, 'by which we may ascend to a great Temple.' The Crayon - commenting on Durand's In the Woods 1855.

Like Asher B. Durand's In the Woods 1855, Rocky Forest Pool 1857 also 'invites the viewer into its sheltered recesses for a moment of meditation and contemplation.' The scale is more human and inviting, the atmosphere more peaceful and soothing but the 'luminous evanescence' of Rocky Forest Pool 1857 transcends In the Woods 1855 in this and several other remarkable ways.

* Sold for, $8,250,000 by Sotheby's, New York on May 24th 1989