Kensett, John Frederick

Kensett, John Frederick kĕnˈsət [key], 1816–72, American landscape painter, of the Hudson River school, b. Cheshire, Conn. He began painting while working as an engraver and in 1840 went to England to study. He spent some time in Paris and in Düsseldorf before going (1845) to Rome, where he became a popular member of the American art colony and perfected his technique. After a few years he returned (1847) to the United States and the following year became a member of the National Academy of Design. His delicately colored and poetic luminist landscapes (see luminism), such as the well-known Eatons Neck, Long Island (1872), brought him fame and wealth. The Metropolitan Museum, of which he was a founding trustee, has several of his paintings. There are others in the Corcoran Gallery and the New York Public Library.

See biography by J. P. Driscoll (1985).

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