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Frederic E. Church
|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 9 to 12|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||7.95|
Frederic E. Church, Landscape Artist Extraordinaire
By Colleen Messina
1 It is sometimes hard to follow your heart, but when you do, the results can be extraordinary. Frederic E. Church, an American landscape painter, did it with great success. He painted such vivid landscapes that his artwork inspired poetry!
2 Frederic's father was not pleased with his son's interest in art. Perhaps it was because his first two sons died when they were very young. When his third child was born on May 4, 1826, the rigid businessman had great expectations for Frederic. He wanted his son to become a doctor, not an artist. However, because Frederic did such incredible paintings as a teenager, his father finally said yes to his choice of career.
3 Frederic moved to Catskill, New York, and began to study under Thomas Cole when he was just eighteen. He must have captured Cole's attention because he was the only student that Cole accepted at that time. Cole founded a group of landscape painters called the Hudson River School that painted romantic American landscapes, and Church was its first member. Beautiful sunsets, mists rising from the water, and patterns of light became themes of the Hudson River School and can be seen in both artists' work.
4 Thomas Cole was a deeply spiritual man. His deep belief in the presence of God in nature was evident in his paintings, and he passed this tendency on to his young student. Between Frederic's raw talent and Cole's skill as a teacher, the young man made great progress. The two went on long walks along the Hudson River to sketch and watch the changing patterns of light in the sky. Frederic also closely studied plants which became part of his amazing landscapes. His painting was so extraordinary that he had his own exhibit at the National Academy of Design within a year.
5 Frederic was a daring young man who looked for a new adventure as soon as he felt finished with his current one. He learned as much as he could with Thomas Cole for two years, and then he decided to go to New York City. He enjoyed the bustle of the city and had some success when his work was made into prints. He was also elected to full membership in the National Academy of Design as one of its youngest artists.
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