John Frederick Kensett (1816-1872)

  • JOHN FREDERICK KENSETT (1816-1872)
  • Bash-Bish Falls, 1857
  • Oil on canvas
  • 34 ¼ x 27 inches
  • Signed and dated 1857, lower left

Bash-Bish Falls, located on the border of New York and Massachusetts was a favorite subject amongst 19th century painters. In the mid-19th century Kensett painted the falls from various vantage points more than 5 times. In Bash-Bish Falls, 1857 [Hawthorne Fine Art], the arch of the tree canopy overhead is repeated in Kensett’s choice of an arch shaped support. The sky is hidden behind dense foliage while sunlight penetrates the center of the composition with a soft green glow. The dark shadows of the foreground contrast with areas of light on the craggy rocks creating an interesting chiaroscuro effect. The cool palette and foreground shadows recall Kensett’s earlier painting The Bash-Bish, 1855 [National Academy] while it’s compositional elements are most similar to Bash-Bish Falls, 1851 [Lyman Allyn Art Museum]

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John Frederick Kensett Bash-Bish Falls
John Frederick Kensett (1816-1872) Bash-Bish Falls, 1857 Oil on canvas                                                 34 ¼ x 27 inches Signed and dated 1857, lower left