Church: A Painter’s Pilgrimage

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Church: A Painter’s Pilgrimage

Detroit Institute of Arts
October 22, 2017 – January 15, 2018

Frederic E. Church, Syria by the Sea, 1873, oil on canvas 56×85 in., 10.11.  Gift of Mrs. James F. Joy, Collection Detroit Institute of Arts.

Artist Frederic Church was the most popular and financially successful painter in mid-19th-century America, best known for his large paintings of wild places in North and South America, the North Atlantic and the Caribbean. But from the late 1860s until the late 1870s, many of his most important paintings represented ancient cities or buildings from his trip to the Middle East and the Mediterranean. While Church’s paintings of the New World subjects focused on nature, his Old World subjects explore human history. This exhibition brings together nearly all of Church’s most important paintings of the Middle East, Athens and Rome to explore what motivated this major shift in his artistic work. Read more.

Objects:

Frederic Edwin Church, Southwest Façade, Olana, c. 1870. Ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper, 13 x 21 15/16 inches. OL.1980.40recto [DIA only]
Frederic Edwin Church, East Façade, Olana, c. 1870. Ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper, 14 11/16 x 21 7/8 inches. OL.1980.41recto
Frederic Edwin Church, Sketch for Stencil Decorations, 1871-1872. Pencil and watercolor on off-white paper, 12 x 19 1/8 inches. OL.1982.665
Frederic Edwin Church, On the Mediterranean, 1882. Oil on canvas, 14 3/8 x 22 5/8 inches. OL.1992.1.A
Frederic Edwin Church, Olive Trees, Athens, 1869. Oil on paper mounted to canvas, 13 1/8 x 20 1/8 inches. OL.1980.1892.A.B
Frederic Edwin Church, The Urn Tomb, Silk Tomb and Corinthian Tomb, Petra, 1868. Oil on paper mounted to canvas, 13 x 20 1/8 inches. OL.1981.52.A.B
Frederic Edwin Church, The Parthenon and the Acropolis, Athens, 1869. Oil on paper mounted to canvas, 11 ½ x 20 ¼ inches. OL.1981.74.A.B

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