FINE ARTS

Frederic Church: A Painter's Pilgrimage

Yale Univ. 2017. 224p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780300218435. pap. $45. FINE ARTS
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Frederic Church's work was popular from the mid 1850s to the early 1870s, after which the general taste switched from the realistic rendering of a location to capturing the artist's experience of a place. In 1867, Church traveled to Europe and the eastern Mediterranean and turned away from realistically representing nature to representing the rise and fall of civilizations. This catalog accompanies an exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), which celebrates the first major 19th-century painting acquired by the DIA, Church's Syria by the Sea (1874). DIA curator Myers, with other scholars and researchers, offers very readable chapters on the travels of Church and his family, as they journeyed to Paris, Marseilles, Alexandria, Beirut, and elsewhere. The catalog begins with a brief discussion of Church's work in the United States, followed by chapters covering his work in Jerusalem, Petra, and Greece. The final section presents Olana, Church's Persian-style estate overlooking New York's Hudson River.
VERDICT This lavishly illustrated and well-researched catalog will intrigue artists, art historians, art history students, and interested general readers.

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