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Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photography by Dwight Primiano.

An Old Roadway

Artist: George Inness (1825 - 1894)
Date: ca. 1880
48 × 72 in. (121.9 × 182.9 cm)
Framed: 56 1/2 in. × 80 1/2 in. × 3 in.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Promised Gift to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
Signed: l.l.: G. Inness
Place Depicted:
On View
Label TextThis canvas is one of a series of Inness landscapes from around 1880 in which figures play a prominent role. In these paintings, the artist addressed the aftermath of the Civil War while continuing to experiment with the atmospheric style for which he is best known. The subject of An Old Roadway—an African American woman with a walking stick and a pack over her shoulder interacting with a white boy tending sheep—likely relates to the migration of blacks from the South after the failure of Reconstruction. It also reminds viewers of slaves fleeing bondage before and during the conflict.