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The Coming Storm

Public Domain

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Public Domain

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

George Inness, Sr.

American, 1825-1894

The Coming Storm, 1878

oil on canvas

support: 26 x 38 1/2 inches (66.04 x 97.79 cm); framed: 37 x 50 x 4 inches (93.98 x 127 x 10.16 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Albert H. Tracy Fund, 1900

1900:1

More Details

Inscriptions

signature / lower right / G. Inness

Provenance

the artist;
collection of Mrs. William G. Bryan;
gifted to her daughter, Mary B. Lewis;
sold to the Albright Art Gallery, between January 1 and 15, 1900

Class

Paintings (visual works)

Work Type

Oil painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

The subject of this composition, the coming storm, was a popular one in nineteenth-century Romantic painting. George Inness created more than two-dozen works on the theme over a thirty-year period. In this instance, the billowing clouds and etheric light caused by the approaching squall further imbued transcendental meaning into this subject. Dissimilar to many of his contemporaries who chose to portray the untamed wilderness, Inness, like the French Barbizon painters, preferred a more intimate, domesticated, or in his words, “civilized” landscape. His theories and ideas were influenced by the philosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg (Swedish, 1688–1772), whose writing he first encountered in the early 1850s. “The Coming Storm” presents a heroic vision in which the small human figure in the bottom-left foreground gives psychological as well as physical scale to the storm. Like Swedenborg, Inness came to believe that nature reflected the spiritual realm in which humans are a part of a harmonious whole, neither subordinate to it nor totally dominant.
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