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From Alexander von Humboldt to Frederic Edwin Church: Voyages of Scientific Exploration and Artistic Creativity

Author(s): Frank Baron

Journal: HiN. Alexander von Humboldt im Netz
ISSN 1617-5239

Volume: VI;
Issue: 10;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Alexander von Humboldt | Frank Baron | Frederic Edwin Church | Art

Article in English, Abstracts in Spanish, German and English.Stephen Jay Gould wrote recently that “when Church began to paint his great canvases, Alexander von Humboldt may well have been the world’s most famous and influential intellectual.” Humboldt’s influence in the case of the landscape artist Church is especially interesting. If we examine the precise relationship between the German explorer and his American admirer, we gain an insight into how Humboldt transformed Church’s life and signaled a new phase in the career of the artist. Church retraced Humboldt’s travels in Ecuador and in Mexico. If we compare the texts available to Church and the comparison of Church’s paintings and the texts and images of Humboldt’s works we can arrive at new perspectives on Humboldt’s extraordinary influence on American landscape painting in the nineteenth century.

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