William McDougal Hart
White Mountain Scenery, 1864
Oil on canvas, 40¼ x 54¼ inches
Signed and dated Wm. Hart 64, lower left
19th-Century American Frame
(Probably) Collection of Erastus D. Palmer, Albany
Collection of Mrs. Roy Tomlinson, Montclair, New Jersey
Montclair Art Museum until 2009
(Probably) Albany, New York, U.S. Sanitary Fair Commission Exhibition,
1964, as The Vale of Conway, no. 62
A prominent member of the second generation of the Hudson River School painters, William Hart often traveled to New Hampshire’s White Mountains between 1859 and 1870, painting works that capture the unique qualities of this picturesque region. A member of the National Academy of Design and a founder and president of the Brooklyn Academy of Design, William Hart exhibited at all the important venues in America during his long and distinguished career.
White Mountain Scenery is a nostalgic representation of an endless afternoon, expressing the peace, tranquility, and expansive grandeur of nature. Time seems suspended as the placid body of water mirrors the lazy comfort of a high, hazy afternoon sky. The slow, rhythmic progression of the tall foreground trees provides a counterpoint to the gentle undulations of the misty, receding mountain range, creating an engaging evocation of natural beauty.