Washington Allston

En 1830, il se remarie avec la fille de Richard Henry Dana Sr., juge de Cambridge (Massachusetts), ville où il résidera jusqu'à sa mort, le 9 juillet 1843.

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Allston returned to America in 1818 (where he would remain for the rest of his life), residing in Boston but spending much time in Cambridge. His friends at this time included the portrait painter Thomas Sully and the sculptor Horatio Greenough. In 1830 Allston married Martha R. Dana, the sister of the novelist Richard H. Dana; Dana was a cousin of Allston's first wife. The couple settled in Cambridgeport, Mass. Allston continued to lead a rather rarefied existence: his friends were exclusively artists and writers. Allston's lack of sympathy for the widely popular president Andrew Jackson and all that he represented in terms of mass culture was behind his refusal of a commission to decorate the rotunda of the Capitol in Washington.

Washington Allston, (born Nov. 5, 1779, Allston plantation, Brook Green Domain on Waccamaw River, S.C., U.S.—died July 9, 1843, Cambridgeport, Mass.), painter and author, commonly held to be the first important American Romantic painter. Allston is known for his experiments with dramatic subject matter and his use of light and atmospheric colour. Although his production was small, it shaped future American landscape painting by its dramatic portrayals of mood. Allston’s work anticipated that of a line of American visionary painters including Albert Pinkham Ryder and Ralph Blakelock.

Washington Allston (ôl´stən), 1779–1843, American painter and author, b. Georgetown co., S.C. After graduating from Harvard , where he composed music and wrote poetry (published in 1813 as The Sylphs of the Seasons), Allston went to London and there studied painting with Benjamin West. He then spent four years in Rome studying the old masters and began his ambitious religious and allegorical paintings, which at first he rendered with classical reserve. His greatest years were spent in England (1810–18), where his work revealed a sophisticated and controlled, yet romantic mind. An important work of this period was the portrait of his lifelong friend Coleridge. In England and Europe, Allston was the intimate of intellectuals and in frequent contact with the best of Western art. He returned to the United States, where artistic stimulation was lacking, and, as a result, his own work eventually lost its vitality. His allegorical works and his tragic failure, Belshazzar's Feast, over which he labored for more than 20 years, were totally overshadowed by his lyric fantasies—his landscapes and seascapes, of which Moonlit Landscape (1819; Mus. of Fine Arts, Boston) and Ship in a Squall (before 1837; Fogg Art Mus.) are two of the finest. Although he was his own most perceptive critic, Allston persisted in his nostalgic re-creation of monumental neoclassic figure paintings until his death. Samuel F. B. Morse was one of his numerous pupils.

Allston returned to America in 1808 and stayed in Boston, occupying the very room that the painters John Copley and John Trumbull had used. During this period he married and did many portraits of his family and friends, such as the soft, languorous portrait of William Ellery Channing (1809-1811), as well as humorous genre scenes. In 1811 he sailed with his wife and Samuel F. B. Morse for England, where his wife died in 1815. Among the paintings of this second English period were the Angel Releasing St. Peter from Prison and the Dead Man Revived by Touching the Bones of the Prophet Elisha (1811-1813), both developed into scenes of Gothic suspense.

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