Granville Perkins (American, 1830-1895) Delaware Water Gap Oil on canvas
Granville Perkins (American, 1830-1895)
Delaware Water Gap
Oil on canvas
Canvas size: 10" x 14"Frame size: 16 ¾" x 20 5/8"
Signed l.l.: Granville Perkins
The Delaware Water Gap is a mountain pass on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania where the Delaware River traverses a large ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. The ridge of the Appalachians that the Delaware crosses is called the Blue Mountains in Pennsylvania and the Kittatinny Ridge in New Jersey. In this charismatic oil painting Granville Perkins captures a railroad train as it steams through the Gap. It is the only movement in a scene of gentle tranquility. To the left of the scene, a man stands on the shore, his boat nearby, and watches the train pass by in the sunset light.
Granville Perkins, born October 16, 1830 in Baltimore, Maryland, began his formal studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art under American landscape painter and etcher, James Hamilton (1819-1898). Mastering both oil and watercolor techniques, Perkins traveled the east coast extensively and created scenes in his native Baltimore as well as New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and Cuba.
Already in 1856, Perkins began exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Academy. In 1862 he made his debut at the National Academy of Design and during that decade moved to New York and worked as an illustrator for Harper's and Leslie's Illustrated News. After the Civil War, Perkins continued to work for Harper's and contributed scenes from his travels to Key West and to Cuba. He also supplied travel illustrations to Picturesque America. Beginning in 1875, Perkins exhibited works at the American Water Color Society and in 1881 and 1882, the artist sent paintings to the Boston Art Club for display.
Devoting his life to scene painting and illustration, Perkins created views of everyday events and surroundings that capture the feel of the time in which he lived. Marine painting and harbor views would be the focus of Perkins, although he is also known for his Florida landscapes, which recall the exoticism of his early travels in South America. In 1889, a feature story appeared on Perkins in American Artists and Their Works, in which Perkins was declared a most celebrated artist. In that same year and in 1894, he contributed to the Art Institute of Chicago's exhibitions.