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American Paintings and Sculpture
Artist: George Inness, American, 1825–1894



Oil on canvas

20 1/4 × 30 1/2 in. (51.4 × 77.5 cm)
Gift of Teresa Heinz in memory of her husband, H. John Heinz III, B.A. 1960

Poetic and evocative, this twilight landscape shows the moon rising over the marshes and islands of Alexandria Bay, New York. George Inness felt that the goal of a work of art is “not to instruct, not to edify, but to awaken an emotion…and the true beauty of the work consists in the beauty of the sentiment or emotion which it inspires.” Viewing all of nature as symbolic and full of meaning, Inness imbued his landscapes with a spiritual dimension, influenced by the ideas of the eighteenth-century Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg.

Made in Montclair, New Jersey, United States
On view
19th century

Art in America 52, no. 4 (1964): 129.

Apollo 81 (June 1965).

Art News 65 (March 1966): 15.

Leroy Ireland, The Works of George Inness: An Illustrated Catalgue Raisonne (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1965), 316-317.

“Artistic Beauty of the Century,” Antiques 89, no. 5 (May 1966): 670.

Marco Goldin, America!, exh. cat. (Treviso: Linea d’ombra libri, 2007), 366, no. 172, ill.

Michael Quick, George Inness: a catalogue raisonne´ (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2007), 222–23, no. 926, pl. 193, fig. 926.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.