(1818 - 1892)
James Hope was active/lived in Vermont, New York. James Hope is known for landscape, portrait, and battle scene painting.
Biography from the Archives of askART
James Hope was born on November 29, 1818/19 in Drygrange,
Roxboroughshire, Scotland. After moving to the United States he
became a noted portrait, landscape, and historical genre painter.
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the death of his mother, he was brought to Canada by his father, who
died of cholera about 1831. According to tradition James Hope was
fifteen when he walked from the Canadian farm where he had spent his
boyhood to Fairhaven, Vermont, to begin his five-year apprenticeship to
a wagon-maker. With the money he saved, he was able to spend a
year at Castleton Seminary. Apparently an accident to his ankle,
which temporarily confined him to his home, gave him the leisure to try
his hand at portraiture, and his first efforts were successful enough
for him to set up as a professional artist at West Rutland in 1843.
married Julia M. Smith of West Rutland on September 20, 1841.
Four of their children survived to adulthood: Henry F.; J. Douglass,
who became a photographer; Jessie; and Addie, who married George A.
Stearns and died in Argentina in 1871.
From 1844 to 1846, he
painted portraits in the more lucrative market of Montreal and then
returned to Castleton, where he built a house in 1851 and supported his
family by teaching painting and drawing at the Seminary.
Landscape painting soon began to occupy all his spare moments,
combining as it did his love for the country with his newfound
talent. The catalogue of his paintings sold some years after his
death mentions that at this period "two famous landscape artists- one
great through color-power, the other through majesty of line, came into
his life with most grateful results to him and them."
in this reference was Frederick Church, who in the summer of 1849
visited the spa at Clarendon Springs, Vermont, only a few miles from
Castleton, and exhibited two Vermont scenes at the Academy the
following year. It seems likely that he influenced Hope to focus
his attentions on New York City, and may have exerted a strong
influence on the Vermont painters career. In the early
eighteen-fifties Hope abandoned teaching entirely and took a studio in
New York, where he painted during the winter, returning to Castleton in
Hope sent a Castleton landscape to the 1849
exhibition of the American Art Union, and by 1854 had work accepted by
the National Academy of Design. Thereafter, for more than
twenty-five years, he was a frequent contributor to the exhibitions
there and at the Brooklyn Art Association. There are paintings of
the Yosemite Valley by Hope, probably after Bierstadt sketches, and of
Jerusalem, the sea of Galilee, and Joppa after photographs by Bierstadt
(in this case presumably Edward Bierstadt, the photographer and brother
of the painter). An occasional exhibitor in Boston, Hope also
sent paintings to shows in Philadelphia, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Detroit,
Utica, Chicago, and St. Louis.
Hope was among the group of
artists who saw active duty in the Civil War, participating in eleven
battles. After the war he acquired popularity as a painter of battle
scenes. He served in the Union army and sketched many battle
scenes, which he later converted to large paintings that he exhibited
throughout the country. One example is his work, In Search of General Sumner.
living much of his life in Vermont, he moved in 1872 to Watkins Glen,
New York where he built a studio and art gallery. There he spent
the last twenty years of his life as artist laureate of the water and
wind-hewn geologic formations found in the vicinity, especially Rainbow
Falls. He was also one of the many artists who painted in the
White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Hope was elected an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design in 1871.
George Groce and David Wallace, The New-York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860, p. 325
Peter Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art, p. 1613
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