New Discoveries: George Inness in Italy
February 25–May 20, 2012
American artist George Inness (1825–1894) aspired to become a modern master. He found grand inspiration suited to that ambition during two extended sojourns in Italy (1851–1852 and 1870–1874). He painted scenes that contemplated the country’s landscape and its art, experimenting with a variety of historical and contemporary styles.
This installation focuses on two of Inness’s earliest known Italian works and was precipitated by the conservation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Twilight on the Campagna. With its evocative light and color restored, this painting and its companion, the High Museum of Art’s A Bit of the Roman Aqueduct, take their place at the beginning of the artist’s long engagement with Italy. Together this pair reveals the aesthetic experimentation that Italy inspired throughout Inness’s career.