(1828 - 1891)

Jervis McEntee (July 14, 1828 – January 27, 1891) was an American painter of the Hudson River School. He is a somewhat lesser-known figure of the 19th century American art world, but was the close friend and traveling companion of several of the important Hudson River School artists. Aside from his paintings, McEntee's detailed journals are an enduring legacy.


McEntee was born in Rondout, New York on July 14, 1828. Little is known of his childhood. He exhibited his first painting at the National Academy of Design in New York City in 1850. The following year he apprenticed with Frederic Edwin Church, who was then regarded as a rising star in the American art world. Church and McEntee remained lifelong friends, though McEntee never approached Church's fame and fortune. After studying with Church, McEntee engaged in business in Rondout. This he relinquished after three years, and, opening a studio in New York, devoted himself thenceforth wholly to art.[1]

The landscapes of Jervis McEntee are known for their melancholy and poetic mood. The sky is often cloudy in a McEntee landscape, the season autumn. While Jasper Francis Cropsey and other artists typically painted bright fall foliage, McEntee often captured the season near its end, with the leaves faded and falling from the trees. "Some people call my landscapes gloomy and disagreeable," McEntee wrote in his journal, "They say I paint the sorrowful side of nature . . . But this is a mistake . . . Nature is not sad to me but quiet, pensive, restful."

McEntee was a particularly close friend of Hudson River School artists Sanford Robinson Gifford and Worthington Whittredge as well as figurative painter Eastman Johnson. He was made an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1860, and a full academician in 1861. In 1869 he visited Europe, painting much in Italy.[2] He died on January 27, 1891 of Bright's disease and is buried in Montrepose Cemetery in Kingston, New York.


Aside from his paintings, McEntee's enduring legacy are the detailed journals he kept from the early 1870s until his death. In his writings McEntee records a detailed account of Hudson River School artists, their day-to-day life, gossip and personal reflections, and the overall arc of the American art world in the second half of the 19th century. He discusses his artistic successes and trials, particularly as money becomes more scarce with the decline in popularity of Hudson River School art.

McEntee's journals are now kept by the Archives of American Art, a research center within the Smithsonian Institution. Five volumes of these diaries, from 1872 to 1890, have been digitally scanned, transcribed, and can be browsed in their entirety in the Jervis McEntee Diaries Online.[3]

Selected works

·           The Melancholy Days have come (1860)

·           Indian Summer (1861)

·           Late Autumn (1863)

·           October Snow (1870)

·           Sea from Shore (1873)

·           Cape Ann (1874)

·           A Song of Summer (1876)

·           Winter in the Mountains (1878)

·           Clouds (1879)

·           The Edge of a Wood (1880)

·           Kaatskill River (1881)

·           Autumn Memory (1883)

·           Shadows of Autumn (1884)

·           The Kaatskills in Winter (1884)

·           Christmas Eve (1885)

·           Shadows of Autumn (1886)


1.    ^ image001_1077e8a09a.gif "McEntee, Jervis". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900.

2.    ^ image001_1077e8a09a.gif Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). "McEntee, Jervis". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

3.    ^ AAA.si.edu

External links

§  Biography on White Mountain Art & Artists

§  Artcyclopedia entry for McEntee

§  Jervis McEntee's personal journals at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

§  Jervis McEntee Papers at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

§  Google images: paintings and portrait photos


Source: Wikipedia
Contributed by Anonymous
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