Sanford Gifford in the Chicago Art Institute

Sanford Gifford. Hunter Mountain, Twilight. 1866. Oil on Canvas.  Chicago Art Institute. Terra Foundation for American Art. Daniel J. Terra Collection.
Just back from a spring trip to Chicago where I spent a couple of days looking at paintings in the Art Institute. Of particular interest to me were the treasures in the Terra Foundation for American Art collection.

There were two in particular I spent time studying - this by Gifford and the one immediately behind it by Inness (more on that later.)

It was Sanford I was following when I began paintings this winter with a burnt sienna base. He used that warm base to achieve a luminous effect in his landscapes. And of course this one has a composition that I'm drawn to. However, in my eyes Gifford's surface texture lacks interest or subtlety. While the quality of light makes them sing from a distance, up close they're flat.

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