John Martini, Jr. (Fl. 1890's)
- JOHN MARTINI, JR. (J. D. MARTINI) (Fl. 1890’s)
- Sailing on the Hudson River, 1894
- Oil on board
- 8 x 10 inches (each)
- Signed and dated 1894, lower right
Martini’s subject, the Hudson Highlands, is important in both American art and American history. A range of mountains situated on both sides of the Hudson River in New York, it was a strategic stronghold for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, preventing the British from cutting off New England from the rest of the colonies. Decades later, the river inspired many of Thomas Cole’s (1801-48) earliest paintings, which would be the first created in what is now called the Hudson River School. The region had not lost its popularity with American artists by the end of the nineteenth century as many artists depicted the area in its contemporary context as a major water route for trade and tourism. Martini’s naturalistic paintings feature sailboats afloat on a serene river with prominent cliffs in the background. Despite the common presence of large steam-powered vessels that frequently carried both tourists and cargo up and down the river, Martini chose to instead focus on the peacefulness of the River and its landscape. The inclusion of sailboats gives a sense of timelessness to the scene, and the sense of tranquility is heightened through the placid stillness of the reflective water.