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Niagara Falls


Title: Niagara Falls
Artist: Kensett, John Frederick    
Date of Work: c. 1852 - 1854
Medium/Support: oil on canvas
Measurements: 32 3/4 x 48 1/16 in (83.2 x 122.1 cm)
Inscribed: No
Acquisition Information: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James W. Fosburgh
Acquisition Number: 961.158.3
Credit Line: The White House Historical Association (White House Collection)
Scholar's Notes:

"The oval is precisely bisected horizontally by the top of the falls, and vertically by the towering plume of spray. This structural regularity, together with the decorative format, emphasizes the more detached record of nature preferred by Kensett. . . . "As in others of his paintings, Kensett here seems to be contemplating the opposing natures of earth and water, then uniting them pictorially in the most direct way. The dark mass of the projecting shoreline is played directly against the silvery, luminous tones of the falls. . . . "By taking a closeup, water's edge viewpoint, [Kensett] calls our attention to the intertwining of rocks and water."

Source of Scholar's Notes: Kloss, William, et al. Art in the White House: A Nation's Pride. Washington, D.C.: The White House Historical Association, 2008.
Page Number(s) in Source: 114
Categories: White House Art Collection  
Type: landscapes   
Orientation: Landscape
Image ID: 240
Date (chronological sort): 1852