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Robert S. Duncanson and his Courageous Southern Travels VIDEO

Curators Pick:

Robert S. Duncanson (1819-1872)

Shenandoah Valley

18 by 30 inches, oil on canvas

The Virginian landscape, Shenandoah Valley c.1855-1860 is a prime example of Robert S. Duncanson’s draughtsmanship. Here his rendering becomes more detailed, articulate, and atmospheric. The late Joseph Ketner, who had been the foremost Duncanson scholar, noted that
Shenandoah Valley is a “sterling example,” which he believed was inspired by the Pre-
Raphaelite theories of John Ruskin.
From 1853 to 1854 Duncanson had visited England, where, if he was not already well aware of Ruskin, he would have become more familiar with his writings. Ruskin believed the principal role of an artist was not to invent in a studio but to observe the reality of nature and render what he has seen and understood, imaginatively, free from any rules of composition. Ruskin’s ideas were
reinforced by American artist Asher B. Durand’s “Letters on Landscape Painting,” published in The Crayon in 1855, which enjoyed wide distribution across the entire country. The clarity of Duncanson’s execution of Shenandoah Valley celebrates a Ruskinian ideology of “truth” to Nature.

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Meyer Fine Art Grand Opening: April 27-June 14, 2023

Robert Duncanson and his Courageous Southern Travels: June 14-January 7, 2024

Upcoming Exhibition: To be announced…

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