The Hudson River Artists had a great influence on American artwork. Before 1800s, most artists became successful only if they could attract the notice of a wealthy family who could afford to have portraits painted. Following the invention of the Daguerreotype, portrait painting demand went down slightly. However, a new America School of landscape painting emerged along with a new form of entertainment— art museums. Middle class people became excited about art.
Before 1830, there was no such thing as an art museum open to the public. Artists began to create work for the enjoyment of the Middle Class. With time, it became common to see a painting over the fireplace.
Thomas Cole was a portrait painter. He painted America after he realized that no one had done so; the mountains, streams, vistas, valleys, the limitless frontier. Cole pioneered the wilderness landscape artist. He started off with the Hudson River Valley and the Catskill Mountains, which were full of beautiful scenery, waterfalls, and primal mists.
A bold style of "native" American art was created; painting not just the areas around upper New York State but also the diversity of beauty found in the far west, the Sierra Mountains, the Rockies, Latin America, and Mexico. They tried to express a love of nature and a feeling for man's place in it.
Source: Hudson River School Artists
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