Review- Frederic Edwin Church
Lost, overwhelmed, entranced. The first things you feel when you look at “El Rio de Luz.” The restrained colors mystify you and the use of light white strokes help give the whole piece a foggy mysterious appearance. As if something might rise out of that river or step out of the jungle at any minute. The sharp realism and focus on detail gives the art work that pull that makes you never want to look away. Or even to transport you into that captivating landscape.
Frederic Edwin Church is one name that you have probably never heard. But you should. Since the 1800’s his artwork has been stealing the minds and hearts of many, who are compelled by the wondrous landscapes he paints. His adventurous soul is painted into every piece he creates, and every single stroke is filled with passion. If you enter the National Gallery of Art in historic Washington DC, you will notice that some of his most famous paintings are hanging there. But unlike many paintings, his do not simply hang on a wall all day hoping someone will notice their beauty. Church’s paintings live there. Patientely waiting. Waiting for each and every tourist, child, aspiring artist, even security guard, to walk up to them and be pulled into these magical worlds that he so incredibly captured in each canvas.
I warn you though, don’t stare at each painting for too long, or you will start to feel homesick. As if you belong in the landscape that Church captured with his paint brushes. Your five senses are activated as soon as you lay eyes on his piece “Heart of the Andes.” You see the hues of blue and gray in the sky, you smell the fresh grass and the scent of a coming rain. You hear the birds chirping, the rush of the waterfall, and the jungle that speaks with the voices of all the animals. You want to touch the leaves on every tree and splash through the clear reflective pool of water that lies beneath the towering mountain. But then you realize you got too close to the painting and the security guard gives you a warning.
The overall sense of peace and harmony one feels when looking at his paintings just lets you know how alluring each panoramic landscape he paints is. As someone who travels a lot, I can say that I’ve seen color filled skies, rushing blue waters, and mountains galore. But the thing is, you don’t even need a plane ticket in order to travel across the world to all the places he paints. You can simply gaze and let your mind wander, letting yourself be pulled into the enchanted places that Church so skillfully paints.