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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
Title:

A Wooded Classical Landscape at Evening with Figures in the Foreground


Artist: John Taylor (1735 - 1806)
Date: 1772
Dimensions:
40 x 50 in. (101.6 x 127 cm)
Framed: 48 in. × 57 in. × 3 1/2 in.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2011.13
Signed: l.r.: JTaylor 1772
On View
Accession Number: 2011.13
Provenanceto Henry Fane (artist’s brother in-law); by descent to John Fane [1751-1824]; by descent to John Fane [1775-1824]; by descent to John William Fane [1804-1875]; by descent to John Augustus Fane [1830-1908]; by descent to Francis Luther Fane [1865-1954]; by descent to John Coppleston Luther Fane [1933-2008] Wormsley Park, Oxfordshire, England; to estate of John Coppleston Luther Fane, 2008; to (Ben Elwes Fine Art, London, England), 2010; purchased by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2011
Label TextTaylor's father, Abraham, was a successful merchant who helped Benjamin Franklin found the University of Pennsylvania. The Taylor family settled in Bath, England, in 1762. John inherited his father's fortune and lived the rest of his life in England as a prosperous gentleman-painter. In 1783, Franklin wrote: "Our geniuses all go to Europe. In England at present the best History painter, West; the best Portrait painter, Copley; and the best Landscape painter, Taylor, at Bath, are all Americans."

A Wooded Classical Landscape at Evening epitomizes the artist's idealized views of nature. Taylor's work followed the conventions established by French painter Claude Lorrain in the seventeenth century, which would continue to influence American artists such as Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church. Feathery trees frame the composition, and classical ruins add a poetic quality to the scene, which is suffused with warm, golden light.
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