R102 | Luminism and Beyond: Currents in Landscape Art 1850-1914


11:30 am - 1:00 pm 


3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22 &  4/29

Six Sessions 

This course is offered online via the easy-to-use Zoom program.

This course focuses on the second generation of Hudson River School artists (1850-75), notably the Luminists, and the evolution of landscape painting throughout the next several decades. The impact of Civil War, Darwin’s influence, and newfound emphasis on the softer, more poetic and subjective style of French Barbizon painters caused a decline in Hudson River School popularity.

The course discusses the development of Tonalism, Impressionism and early Modernism, reflecting changing times and values in North America and elsewhere. National cultural identities of several countries were articulated and furthered through landscape painting, much as Thomas Cole and others had accomplished in the United States since the 1820s. We’ll highlight this aspect of our northern neighbor, Canada, where the Toronto-based Group of Seven was formed during the period surrounding World War One.

With their signature bright colors and rough brushstrokes, they captured not only the land but also the movement of the water and the clouds, the sound of the wind and the smells of the forest. As with Mr. Pearson's Spring 2020 course introducing the Hudson River School, there will be wide use of video clips, often accompanied by tranquil and serene music compatible with the images. Content will not be repeated from that earlier course, although relevant references will be made.

Ralph Pearson received a masters degree from Cornell in hotel administration (MPS.) and a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Buffalo. He led tours worldwide and personally travelled to sites where the artists painted as well as museums with landscape collections and exhibitions. A native of the Upper Hudson Valley, his passion for landscape art was formed early as he hiked and paddled the same woods and streams as did the artists. Ralph is blissfully retired and enjoyed previous careers as an innkeeper, travel agent, and tour manager.

Class Letter, Week 1

Class Letter, Week 4

Class Letter, Week 5


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