Worthington Whittredge, an important member of the later Hudson River School, is best remembered as a landscape painter who celebrated the beauty of the Catskill Mountains as well as the American West.

Born in 1820, on a farm near Springfield, Ohio, he moved to Cincinnati in 1837 where he began working as a house painter's assistant to his brother-in-law.  He gradually advanced to sign and banner painting and to a little portrait work.  He went to West Virginia where he painted portraits but after a discouraging season there he turned exclusively to landscape painting in 1843.  Whittredge's works from this period reveal the romantic influences of artists such as Thomas Cole and Thomas Doughty.

Cincinnati at that time boasted a wealthy community of art lovers headed by a patron, Nicholas Longworth, who after three years, made possible Whittredge's move to Europe to study painting in 1849.  He arrived first in London and then toured through Belgium and Germany and spent the summer sketching along the Rhine. Traveling back through Belgium, he arrived in Paris, but as he was unimpressed by the Barbizon painters, he moved on to Düsseldorf, the major center for the study of landscape painting, where he spent five years under Carl Lessing and Andreas Achenbach.  Like many other American artists in Düsseldorf, Whittredge was called upon by Leutze to pose for his Washington Crossing the Delaware.  He of course came in contact with many other American artists.  Among them was the young Albert Bierstadt who came from New Bedford, Massachusetts.  It was with Bierstadt that Whittredge enjoyed many sketching trips to Westphalia.

Whittredge's mature style incorporates both European and American influences.  For a time he adopted the hard, relatively monotone palette of the Düsseldorf School but later he asserted that this German style "was not enough and never will be enough to satisfy us in the realm of art".

In 1854, Whittredge traveled through Switzerland to Italy where he remained for five years, until 1859.  There, he was part of an artist's colony that included Frederick Church, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sanford Gifford, George Loring Brown and the sculptors Thomas Crawford, William Wetmore Story and Harriet Hosmer.  In the end Whittredge came to find extended European study undesirable, asserting the idea that it undermined the distinctive quality of his work.

Upon his return to America he visited Newport and Cincinnati and then settled in New York. He was elected to the National Academy in 1861.  In 1865 he accompanied Major General John Pope on an expedition to the Rockies, journeying through Colorado and New Mexico as far as Fort Union.  In the late fall he went to New York and in 1867 was married which limited his trips to the West.  But he still traveled throughout New England, especially Newport, Rhode Island, the North Shore of Massachusetts, the Catskill Mountains, Lake George in New York, and in New Jersey.  He was to make two more trips out west including one with Church to Mexico in 1896.  He served as President of the National Academy from 1874 - 1877 and was a member of various New York Clubs: Union League, the Century Association and the Lotos Club.  In 1880, he built a house in Summit, New Jersey, where he resided until his death in 1910.

Worthington Whittredge's work is well represented in the collections of the Worcester Museum of Art, Massachusetts; the Cincinnati Art Museum; the Brooklyn Museum; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the Newark Museum, New Jersey among other institutions.

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