American art history brims with gorgeous landscape paintings, but are they important art? To our modern aesthetic, these paintings can seem awfully pretty, even precious. But to dismiss them would be a grave mistake, says Princeton University art historian Rachael DeLue, one of the leading authorities on the American landscape. She argues that the work of artist George Inness (1825–1894), for example, is full of innovation, not just on painterly grounds but in its engagement of optics, psychology, physiology, and even mathematics. Let DeLue be your guide to seeing the American landscape in an altogether new light.
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