Thomas Worthington Whittredge was an American landscape painter. He was highly respected during his lifetime and is one of the foremost examples of the Hudson River School, along with friends and colleagues Sanford Robinson Gifford and Albert Bierstadt. Among his best-known artworks are House by the Sea, The Meadow, and The Trout Pool, to name only a few.
Thomas Worthington Whittredge was born in a simple log cabin near Springfield, Ohio, on May 22, 1820. He was initially a house painter and took up landscape painting and portraiture when he was 18 years old.
He painted in Cincinnati before traveling to Europe to further his artistic training. Upon his arrival, Whittredge settled at the Dusseldorf Academy, which was a significant art school of the time where he studied under Emanuel Leutze. He posed to Leutze’s famous painting Washington Crossing the Delaware, for a steersman and even George Washington himself. At the Academy, Whittredge would become friends with Albert Bierstadt, who accompanied him on many trips. Whittredge spent nearly ten years in Europe, a time he used to meet and travel with many distinguished artists, including Sanford Gifford.
Returning to the United States in 1859, he settled in New York City, where he would launch his career as a landscape painter and achieving almost immediate recognition. In the next year, he was elected as an associate of the National Academy of Design and a full member two years later. In 1866 he would travel to the Rocky Mountains on a 2000-mile government inspection tour, along with landscape painters Sanford Gifford and John Frederick Kensett. This experience was the starting point of various canvases of panoramic and vast views, such as in Crossing the Platte.
By the late 1870s, Whittredge’s style would change, mainly because of the influence of the Hudson River School painters, very popular at the time.
In 1880, Whittredge moved to New Jersey, where he would continue to paint until his death. Thomas Worthington Whittredge died in 1910, with 89 years of age.
Today, the artist is still well known and a key figure in the Hudson River School. Whittredge’s artwork can be admired in many distinguished museums throughout the United States and abroad, such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, as well as in the renowned Louvre Museum in Paris.