Washington Allston

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Allston, Washington

(ôl`stən), 1779–1843, American painter and author, b. Georgetown co., S.C. After graduating from Harvard (1800), where he composed music and wrote poetry (published in 1813 as The Sylphs of the Seasons), Allston went to London and there studied painting with Benjamin West. He then spent four years in Rome studying the old masters and began his ambitious religious and allegorical paintings, which at first he rendered with classical reserve. His greatest years were spent in England (1810–18), where his work revealed a sophisticated and controlled, yet romantic mind. An important work of this period was the portrait of his lifelong friend Coleridge. In England and Europe, Allston was the intimate of intellectuals and in frequent contact with the best of Western art. He returned to the United States, where artistic stimulation was lacking, and, as a result, his own work eventually lost its vitality. His allegorical works and his tragic failure, Belshazzar's Feast, over which he labored for more than 20 years, were totally overshadowed by his lyric fantasies—his landscapes and seascapes, of which Moonlit Landscape (1819; Mus. of Fine Arts, Boston) and Ship in a Squall (before 1837; Fogg Art Mus.) are two of the finest. Although he was his own most perceptive critic, Allston persisted in his nostalgic re-creation of monumental neoclassic figure paintings until his death. Samuel F. B. Morse was one of his numerous pupils.


See biographies by J. B. Flagg (1892, repr. 1969) and E. P. Richardson (1948).

Allston, Washington

(1779–1843) painter; born in Georgetown County, N.C. He spent many years in England (1801–18), studied with Benjamin West (1801–03), became friends with Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Washington Irving, and produced romantic paintings, such as The Rising of a Thunderstorm at Sea (1804). He returned to Boston (1818), settled in Cambridgeport, Mass., and continued to paint poetic and narrative subjects, as in The Flight of Florimell (1819) and The Moonlit Landscape (1819). His most famous pupil was Samuel F. B. Morse.
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While many of the original entries prepared by the Murrays are retained, some are expanded and new entries added as for example those of American artists such as Washington Allston and Andy Warhol.
Washington Allston, whose work and reputation are the subjects of two chapters, became Coleridge's close friend at this time and called Coleridge a "Plato in the groves of the Academy" (32); their reciprocal tenderness and support continued in London, Bristol, and Clifton in later years.
Among the many artists whom Coleridge came to know, Washington Allston and William Blake are the most striking friendships to emerge in this book.
Thoroughly researched information on a topic of importance to conservators and yet relatively neglected, this study offer analysis of materials and techniques used by painters including Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart, Washington Allston, Thomas Sully, Thomas Cole, and William Sidney Mount, among others.
The chapter starts by noting the displacement of Enlightenment rationality by Romanticism in the early nineteenth century with some attention to Burke and Kant and then briefly summarizes important themes in the works of Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville, with a passing nod to other authors, including Philip Freneau, Washington Allston, and George Lippard.
Herndon on "Ligeia"; Roberta Sharp and Richard Kopley on Pym; and finally, the interdisciplinary "frame" given the collection by the first essay, on Poe's connection to Washington Allston, a visionary painter of the early nineteenth century, and the last essay, by Robert J.
A presentation of the Hudson River School introduces this group of American artists which includes artists like Washington Allston, Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Church, Thomas Cole, Jasper Cropsey, Asher B.
Dorothy Wordsworth, Thomas De Quincey, and Washington Allston, among others, record the dramatic improvement of his aspect when an idea seized him or he began to speak.

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