A Mountain Road Near Gorham, N.H.

Ralph Albert Blakelock

American, 1847 - 1919

A Mountain Road Near Gorham, N.H., ca. 1879-85

  • On View

Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 16 3/8 × 24 1/2 × 2 in. (41.6 × 62.2 × 5.1 cm)
Framed: 25 × 33 in. (63.5 × 83.8 cm)

Gift of Mrs. Jay C. Thompson from the estate of Mrs. George Crapo Willson, 1969.30

Ralph Blakelock’s body of work is distinct from traditional landscape painting for its originality and innovation. Perhaps because he was largely self-taught, Blakelock developed a variety of non-traditional painting techniques, like incorporating tobacco juice as a coloring agent, to achieve the atmospheric visual effects seen in his paintings. Unlike most landscape painters of the time, Blakelock did not aim to record the natural world as it appeared, but preferred to use nature as a vehicle for self-expression. He was influenced by French Barbizon painting, as were several American landscape artists of this time period including Edward Bannister and Alexander Wyant. They would have been introduced to Barbizon School paintings at exhibitions in New York and Boston during the 1880s. A Mountain Road near Gorham, N.H. is exceptional in comparison to Blakelock’s other landscapes for its brighter color palette and details, such as the lacy foliage, the small figure, and the lean-to depicted in the painting's middle ground. It is also notable that the title indicates a specific place, which is unusual for Blakelock’s work.

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