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Italian Landscape with Ruins

Object Name: Landscape
Date: 1861
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Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Framed: 14 1/2 × 12 1/2 × 2 1/2 in. (36.8 × 31.8 × 6.4 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Charlynn and Warren Goins
Object Number: 2014.30.1
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Largely overlooked from the time of his death in 1872 until the 1920s, Duncanson was one of only a few nineteenth-century African American artists with a successful career and an international reputation. Born in New York, he relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio in the early 1840s, where he worked as a daguerreotypist and painted portraits and decorative murals. Duncanson embarked on his first European trip in 1853 with fellow artist William L. Sonntag. Inspired by Sonntag and the Hudson River School painters, Duncanson produced landscapes of the Ohio River Valley. Influenced as well by the art he encountered abroad, and fueled by his fascination with the work of Thomas Cole, Duncanson produced canvases revealing exotic ruins of classical civilization.


"The Works: Salon Style at the New-York Historical Society," New-York Historical Society, June 20, 2014–February 8, 2015.

"A Hudson River School Legacy: The Newman Bequest and Other Gifts," New-York Historical Society, March 24–June 4, 2017.