Aaron Draper Shattuck


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Painter. Primarily a landscapist, he is known particularly for views of New Hampshire's White Mountains, but he also painted the Atlantic coast and other locales. In addition, he produced occasional portraits or other figural works. Born in Francestown, New Hampshire, in 1851 he studied portrait painting in Boston with Alexander Ransom (active 1840s–1860s). He and his teacher departed the following year for New York, where Shattuck also worked at the National Academy of Design. By 1855 landscape in the Hudson River School mode figured as his primary interest. Some works also demonstrate his affinity for the clarity, serenity, and attention to atmospheric effects characteristic of luminism. With its detailed trees and foreground rocks, carefully observed light effects, and intimate tone, Stream in a Rocky Gorge (New Britain [Connecticut] Museum of American Art, c. 1860) recalls the contemporary woodland interiors of his friend John Kensett. A number of paintings from the late 1850s and early 1860s demonstrate an interest in Pre-Raphaelite hyperrealism. During the 1870s Shattuck's brushwork became somewhat looser, while his subjects took on a more pastoral cast, reflecting his move to a farm in Granby, Connecticut, north of Hartford. The alterations in his approach also suggest the period's shift in taste toward Barbizon painting. In the late 1880s, beset by illness and dissatisfaction with art, he ceased painting. For the next forty years, he devoted his time to farming and devising inventions.

Subjects: Art.

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