Albert Bierstadt, 1830-1902
Cho-looke, the Yosemite Fall, 1864
Oil on canvas, 87 x 68.9 cm (34-1/4 x 27-1/8 in.)

Albert Bierstadt earned his initial popularity with a series of landscape paintings of the Rocky Mountains. The works were based on sketches he made on a United States government expedition engaged in mapping an overland route to the Pacific. In 1863, he set out with a group of artists on his second western trip to visit the valley of Yosemite.

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Thomas Birch, 1779-1851
An American Ship in Distress, 1841
oil on canvas, 91.4 x 136.5 cm (36 x 53-3/4 in.)

Regarded as America's first marine artist, Thomas Birch is known for his paintings of the early American shipping industry and for a series devoted to the naval engagements of the War of 1812. He was also drawn to shipwrecks, the subject of some of his most distinctive paintings.

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John Singleton Copley, 1738-1815
Mrs. Thomas Gage, 1771
Oil on canvas, 127 x 101.6 cm  (50 x 40 in.)

In 1771, Copley left his native Boston for a six-month stay in New York, where he accepted numerous portrait commissions. His first subject was Margaret Kemble Gage, the American-born wife of General Thomas Gage, commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America, who had sat for a portrait by the artist in 1768.

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Martin Johnson Heade, 1819-1904
The Magnolia Blossom, 1888
Oil on canvas, 38.4 x 61.3 cm (15-1/8 x 24-1/8 in.)

Martin Johnson Heade initially became known for his New England landscapes and still lifes of Brazilian hummingbirds and orchids. Later in life, in 1883, he moved to Florida, which marked an important turning point in his career. Of the new flowers that interested him, the giant magnolia became the chief theme of his late still lifes.

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George Inness, 1825-1894
Ariccia, 1874
Oil on canvas, 67.3 x144.3 cm (26-1/2 x 56-7/8 in.)

George Inness moved to Italy for the second time in 1870. He painted primarily in Rome and its environs, finding many of his subjects among the scenic lakes and deep valleys of the Alban Hills and the hilltop towns southeast of the Eternal City. The rosy beige, tan, and white buildings of the town of Ariccia crown a ridge that stretches across the middle distance of this panoramic painting.

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