Champney (1817-1907) began as an apprentice to a lithographer in Boston. Reportedly, the American old master Washington Allston advised Champney to study in Paris, then the young artist departed in 1841. He must have been a success, since his landscape views of the outskirts of Paris appeared at the Salons of 1843 and 1844. In the Louvre Champney made copies of landscapes by Claude Lorrain, Joseph Vernet and Ruysdael. He said that he fell in love with the landscapes of Diaz de la Peña, the Barbizon painter, and he also appreciated the progressive techniques of Constant Troyon: "the green tones of which were marvellously rich and juicy," while some critics called the French painter's landscapes "plates of spinach."
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