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George Henry Hall

American Art

George Henry Hall’s large sketchbook contains highly finished images of locations in Italy and the northeastern United States, with the majority of pages devoted to his Italian travels in 1852. Since Hall is primarily known as a genre and still-life painter, this sketchbook provides a rare glimpse into his experiments with landscape composition. Executed naturalistically in graphite with accents of white watercolor, the drawings follow the picturesque landscape conventions established by the Hudson River School. These conventions include framing a distant panoramic vista with foreground trees or other vertical elements.
MEDIUM Graphite and opaque watercolor on cream, blue, beige, medium thick, slightly textured wove papers
DATES various dates, 1852–1893
DIMENSIONS Closed: 11 1/16 x 16 13/16 x 13/16 in. (28.1 x 42.7 x 2.1 cm) Open: 11 1/16 x 33 3/4 in. (28.1 x 85.7 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS [See Description]
CREDIT LINE Gift of Jennie Brownscombe
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Bound sketchbook of 40 leaves (blue and some cream and beige paper) containing 31 landscape drawings of Italian, New York, and New Hampshire subjects; book bound with cardboard covers covered in marbleized paper with leather spine. Inside Front Cover: Acquisition information inscribed in ink "Accession No. 1275 June 30/16 / Geo. H. Hall's sketchbook / Gift of Miss J. Brownscombe" [Museum numbered recto and verso pages successively, in graphite upper corner. All drawings in graphite and white wash, and on blue paper unless otherwise noted] P. 1: Cream paper. Two female heads in graphite only, signed at top of page "Geo. H. Hall, Roma, April 10th. 1852." and inscribed upper left "806 Broadway. / New York." P. 3: Landscape with tower and artist, illegible inscriptions (smudged) at lower left. P. 5: Landscape, inscribed lower left "Tivoli, Apr. 16th. '52" P. 7: Landscape with waterfall, inscribed lower left "Tivoli, Apr. 16th. '52" P. 9: Landscape with waterfall, vertical orientation, inscribed lower right "Tivoli 17 Apr. '52" P. 11: Landscape, inscribed lower left, "Subiaco, Apr. 19. '52" P. 13: Beige paper. Plant study in graphite only, inscribed at lower left "Hollyhock. / Fishkill. July '54" P. 15: Landscape with town, inscribed lower left "Subiaco, Apr. 19. '52" P. 17: Landscape with hilltop town, inscribed lower left "Olevano Apr 21. '52" P. 19: Beige paper. Blank P. 21: Beige paper. Close up of boulders and stream, inscribed lower right, "Sligo, near Conway / Aug. 27. '59" P. 23: Mountains, inscribed lower left "Olevano Apr. 21. '52" P. 25: Panoramic landscape with town, inscribed lower right "Palestrina. Apr. 22nd. '52" P. 27: View of town across lake, inscribed lower right "Nemi. Apr. 24. '52 / Lake Nemi" P. 29: View of hilltop town, inscribed lower left, "Genzano, Apr. 24. '52 / Lake Nemi" P. 31: Panoramic view of town, inscribed lower right "Sorrento. May 18th. '52" P. 33: View of rocks and sea, inscribed lower left "Capri, May 27 '52" P. 35: Beige paper. View of rocks and sea, inscribed lower right "Capri, May 27 '52" P. 37: Beige paper. Blank P. 39: Landscape, inscribed lower left "Butter Hill. / Fishkill July 12 '54" P. 41: Landscape, inscribed lower left "Lennox / Aug 18. '54" P. 43: Trees in landscape, inscribed lower center "Lennox Aug. 19. '54" P. 45: Panoramic landscape with town, inscribed lower right "Fishkill Mountains / from Newburgh. / July 6th. 1856" P. 47: Landscape with waterfall, inscribed lower right "Kauterskill Clove / July 29. '56" P. 49: Landscape with trees, inscribed lower right "Kauterskill Clove / July 30. '56" P. 51: Waterfall, vertically oriented, inscribed lower right "Catskill Fall. / July 28th. 1858" P.53: Woodland interior with creek, inscribed lower left "Catskill fall / Clove July 28th. 1858" P. 55: Beige paper. Boulder, inscribed lower right "Sligo. / near Conway / Aug. 27. '59" P. 57: Landscape, inscribed lower right "Sligo near Conway. Aug. 27. '59" P. 59: Landscape, inscribed lower right "Kearsage [Kearsarge], from Sligo. Aug. 27. '59" P. 61: River with rocky banks and waterfall, inscribed lower right "Hall Fall. / Swift River. / Sept. 1st. '59" P. 63: Houses in mountains, inscribed lower right "Palenville Sept. 5. 1971" P. 65: Trees in mountains, inscribed lower right "Palenville / Oct. 6. 1893"
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION George Henry Hall (American, 1825–1913). Sketchbook, various dates, 1852–1893. Graphite and opaque watercolor on cream, blue, beige, medium thick, slightly textured wove papers, Closed: 11 1/16 x 16 13/16 x 13/16 in. (28.1 x 42.7 x 2.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Jennie Brownscombe, 16.758.1 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 16.758.1_p27_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 16.758.1_p27_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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