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During Frederic Edwin Church’s tour of Europe and the Near East, which happened between 1867 and 1869, the artist would find inspiration for many of the most famous works developed in the later years of his artistic career, which includes this fantastic and grandiose oil on canvas measuring over two meters in width and a little over a meter in height. Now in possession of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, in Kansas City, the painting finished in 1870, shortly after Church’s return to his studio in New York, exemplifies some aspects of the artist’s style for which he would be both lauded and criticized near the end of his career.
Chief among the positives pointed out about the piece was one of the characteristics Church was most famous for, his attention to detail and the uncanny technique with which he depicted those details. The artist was, of course, very conscious of that characteristic of his work, so that when the piece was first shown to the public, he also included a geographic key presented with it, so that the public might find and identify the many landmarks he took so much trouble to portray. Those landmarks are seen as one would from the Holy City’s most important Christian landmarks, the hill where Jesus Christ would have been betrayed and arrested by his tormentors.
From the famous vantage point, the center stage is occupied by the Dome of the Rock, behind which the city of Jerusalem extends towards the horizon, its white-roofed buildings gleaming in the sun, even though in the skies ominously foretell darker weather. The overall mood of the painting is both hopeful, or at least pious, and obscure, a sensation achieved mostly through the use of a yellow-hued light, a reference to 17th-century religious art for which Church was harshly criticized. Indeed, Church’s work near the end of his career, primarily that which was produced as a consequence of his 1867 tour, seems to lack the ardent fervor seen in his earlier painting, nor did they reach anything resembling the recognition and fame achieved by the artist’s paintings having the magnificent landscapes of the Americas as their subject matter.
That does not, of course, diminish the piece, for its value lies not in following the same tendencies of Church’s earlier career, but instead in being its new style.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Jerusalem From The Mount Of Olives, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Jerusalem From The Mount Of Olives that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
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