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 William Guy Wall  (1792 - 1864)

About: William Guy Wall


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Lived/Active: New York / Ireland      Known for: landscape and some marine painting

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BIOGRAPHY for William Wall
1792 (Dublin, Ireland)
1864 (Ireland)

New York / Ireland

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landscape and some marine painting

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Hudson River School Painters
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Cornelia Moynihan, who credits Grove Dictionary of Art

(b Dublin, 1792; d Ireland, c. 1864).

American painter of Irish birth.  He arrived in New York in 1812, already well-trained as an artist and soon became famous for his sensitive watercolour views of the Hudson River Valley and environs.  Some of these watercolours were published as engravings by John Hill and his son John William Hill in the Hudson River Portfolio (New York, 18215), the first book to make Americans aware of the beauty and sublimity of their own scenery.

Wall is often seen as a forerunner or early member of the HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL.  Good examples of his work are the "Covered Bridge across the Sacandaga River", Hadley, New York (1820; New York, NY Hist. Soc.) and the "View near Hudson" (1822; Yonkers, NY, Hudson River Museum.).

Wall was a founder-member of the National Academy of Design, New York, and exhibited frequently at such institutions as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and the Apollo Association, New York. He lived in America from 1812 to 1835 and again from 1856 to 1860; little is known of the years after his final return to Ireland. His son, William Archibald Wall (1820-1875), was also a landscape painter.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Dublin, Ireland, William Guy Wall became an accomplished artist before emigrating to New York City where he was a founder of the National Academy of Design and exhibited there as well as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.  In American art history, he was a key figure in Hudson-River style landscape painting, although he lived much of his life in Ireland.  His watercolor views of the Hudson River and of New York City were published in his Hudson River Portfolio, which was very popular and had several editions between 1820 and 1828.

He was skillful with atmospheric perspective in his landscapes, and he created spiritual effects with lights at a time when viewers were used to literal depictions.  Between 1828 and 1835, he lived in Newport, Rhode Island; New Haven, Connecticut; and Brooklyn, New York.  He was then in Ireland for twenty years working as a silhouettist and painting pictorial backgrounds; in Newburgh, New York from 1856 to 1860; and then in Ireland the remaining years of his life.

His death date is uncertain but known to be after 1864.

Sources include:
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

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