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Washington Allston (November 5, 1779 – July 9, 1843) was an American poet and influential painter, born in Waccamaw Parish, South Carolinamarker. Allston pioneered America's Romantic movement of landscape painting. He was well known during his lifetime for his experiments with dramatic subject matter and his bold use of light and atmospheric color.

Biography

Allston was born on a rice plantation on the Waccamaw River near Georgetown, South Carolinamarker. His mother Rachel Moore had married Captain William Allston in 1775, though her husband died in 1781, shortly after the Battle of Cowpensmarker. Moore remarried to Dr. Henry C. Flagg, the son of a wealthy shipping merchant from Newport, Rhode Islandmarker.

Named in honor of the leading American general of the Revolution, Washington Allston graduated from Harvard Collegemarker in 1800 and moved to Charleston, South Carolinamarker for a short time before sailing to Englandmarker in May 1801. He was admitted to the Royal Academymarker in Londonmarker in September, when painter Benjamin West was then the president.

From 1803 to 1808 he visited the great museums of Parismarker and then for several years those of Italymarker, where he met Washington Irving in Rome, and Coleridge, his lifelong friend. In 1809 Allston married Ann Channing, sister of William Ellery Channing. Samuel F. B. Morse was one of Allston's art pupils and accompanied Allston to Europe in 1811. After traveling throughout western Europe, Allston finally settled in London, where he won fame and prizes for his pictures.

Allston was also a published writer. In London in 1813, he published The Sylphs of the Seasons, with Other Poems, republished in Boston, Massachusettsmarker later that year. His wife died in February 1815, leaving him saddened, lonely, and homesick for America.

In 1818 he returned to the United States and lived in Cambridge, Massachusettsmarker for 25 years. He was the uncle of the artists George Whiting Flagg and Jared Bradley Flagg, both of whom studied painting under him.

In 1841 he published Monaldi, a romance illustrating Italian life, and in 1850, a volume of his Lectures on Art, and Poems.

Allston was buried in the Dana family plot in the Old Burying Ground.
Allston died on July 9, 1843, at age 64. Allston is buried in Harvard Squaremarker, in "the Old Burying Ground" between the First Parish Church and Christ Churchmarker.

Recognition

Florimell's Flight, 1819.


Allston was sometimes called the "American Titian" because his style resembled the great Venetianmarker Renaissance artists in their display of dramatic color contrasts. His work greatly influenced the development of U.S. landscape painting. Also, the themes of many of his paintings were drawn from literature, especially Biblical stories.

His artistic genius was much admired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Ralph Waldo Emerson was strongly influenced by his paintings and poems, but so were both Margaret Fuller and Sophia Peabody, wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne. The influential critic and editor Rufus Wilmot Griswold dedicated his famous anthology The Poets and Poetry of America to Allston in 1842. Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 17 years after Allston's death, wrote that: "One man may sweeten a whole time. I never pass through Cambridge Port without thinking of Allston. His memory is the quince in the drawer and perfumes the atmosphere."

Boston painter William Morris Hunt was an admirer of Allston's work, and in 1866 founded the Allston Club in Boston, and in his arts classes passed on to his students his knowledge of Allston's techniques.

Washington Allston coined the term "objective correlative," which T. S. Eliot described as a situation or a chain of events that acts as a formula and is used in art to evoke emotion.

The west Boston, Massachusettsmarker neighborhood of Allstonmarker is named after him.

Gallery

Image:Allston, Washington - Coast Scene on the Mediterranean, oil on canvas, 1811.jpg|Coast Scene on the Mediterranean, 1811, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South CarolinaImage:Moonlit Landscape.jpg|Moonlit Landscape, 1809, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MassachusettsImage:Storm Rising at Sea.jpg|Storm Rising at Sea, 1804, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts


References

  1. Hubbell, Jay B. The South in American Literature: 1607-1900. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1954: 274.
  2. Hubbell, Jay B. The South in American Literature: 1607-1900. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1954: 275.
  3. Planters, Pirates & Patriots: Historical Tales from the South Carolina Grand Strand, Rod Graff, Pelican Publishing, 2006
  4. Hubbell, Jay B. The South in American Literature: 1607-1900. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1954: 276.
  5. Burstein, Andrew. The Original Knickerbocker: The Life of Washington Irving. Basic Books, 2007:43. ISBN 978-0-465-00853-7
  6. Hubbell, Jay B. The South in American Literature: 1607-1900. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1954: 277.
  7. Hubbell, Jay B. The South in American Literature: 1607-1900. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1954: 278.
  8. Ware's Lectures on the Works and Genius of Washington Allston (Boston, 1852) and Artist Biographies, Allston (1879).
  9. *
  10. Wright, Nathalia. The Correspondence of Washington Allston, Published by University Press of Kentucky, 1993, ISBN 0813117089


Further reading

  • Allston, Washington, Lectures on Art and Poems, 1850 (facsimile ed., with Monaldi, 1841, 1967, Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, ISBN 9780820110011).


External links




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