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 George Henry Boughton  (1833 - 1905)

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Lived/Active: New York / United Kingdom/England      Known for: historical genre-figure, landscape and marine painting

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Ad Code: 3
George Henry Boughton
from Auction House Records.
Party for New Year's Day in New Amsterdam
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A leading landscape and genre painter in the United States and Europe, George Henry Boughton did scenes of England, Brittany and The Netherlands.  He was also an illustrator of books by Washington Irving including "Rip Van Winkle" and "History of New York" and Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter."

Many of his works were small size, and he is primarily known for paintings that expressed sentimentality in soft, muted tones.  Many of his subjects were rural, rustic figures.

He spent only a small portion of his life in the United States, but it was a formative period.  Born near Norwich, England, in 1834, he was brought to America in 1839 by his parents when he was three years old and was raised in Albany, New York.

Boughton taught himself to paint and was so good at it that, by the time he was 19 years old, he had earned enough through purchases by the American Art Union, an art-promoting organizing, to make a six-month sketching tour in England.  His success continued after his return and he moved to New York City in 1858 and to Paris, France, in 1861.  The following year, Boughton moved to London, England, opened a studio and remained there until his death in 1905.

Boughton exhibited many of his paintings in the United States, where he had numerous patrons. Many of his works have a distinct American colonial theme.

Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art

Biography from Turak Gallery of American Art:
Recognized as a leading landscape and genre painter in the United States and abroad, George Henry Boughton had the ability to express sentiments and pathos on canvas.  He illustrated editions of Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle and History of New York and Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter.  In his landscapes, he painted scenes of England, Brittany and the Netherlands.

Though he was born in Norwich, England in 1833 and lived in London for the second half of his life, Boughton's formative years as a self-taught artist began in Albany, New York, where his family settled in the 1830's.

By age 19 he was a landscape painter of note and opened his first studio in 1852. The American Art-Union purchased one of his early pictures.  This institution encouraged him by exhibiting his work and enabling him to study in England for six months.

In 1857, Boughton exhibited at the Washington Art Association, and from 1859 to 1860 he worked in New York City.  In 1860, he traveled to Paris where he studied under Edouard Frere and Edouard May.  The French influences were subsequently reflected in his style.

Boughton established a studio in London in 1861.  Though now living in England, he focused on subjects of American Colonial history.  If ever there were a painter who could tell a story with genuine sentiment, using soft tones and colors, it was Boughton.  A London critic once declared that he "has learnt the secret of putting natural feelings into rustic figures, which has been almost entirely wanting to English painters."  The New England history of the Puritans became the subject of his most famous painting, Pilgrims Going to Church (Early Puritans of New England Going to Church), completed in 1867, now at the New York Historical Society.

Quite an accomplished painter, his artwork was exhibited at the greatest Academies of which, he was also a member. Boughton continued his career in England until his death at Campden Hill in 1905. His artwork is now represented in museums both in the United States and England.

American Art Union - 1852
National Academy - 1853 and from 1856 - 1876
Washington Art Association - 1857
Maryland Historical Society - 1868

Honorary Member and Professional of the National Academy. New York from 1859 - 1860
Member of the Water Color Society at the National Academy
Full Member of the National Academy from 1871 - 1905
Elected Associate of the Royal Academy in London - 1879
Elected Full Member of the Royal Academy - 1896

Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut - Faithful 1870
Daughter of the Knickerbocker  1880
Boston Museum of Fine Art - Sea Breeze
New York Historical Society - Pilgrims Going to Church (Early
Puritans of New England Going to Church)
- 1867
Tate Gallery, London - Weeding the Pavement
Liverpool - Le Chemin de Camelot - Lady of Shalott
Manchester - Evening Prayer
Sheffield - The Disembarkment of the Pilgrims

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