American Painters

JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY SELF PORTRAIT (1784)
JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY SELF PORTRAIT (1784)

JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY

John Singleton Copley (1738-1815) of Boston moved to London in 1774 because all of his family’s ties were with those loyal to the British Crown. John Copley never returned to America, but he is still considered the most gifted and influential of all painters from the Colonial Period. The Neoclassical painting below is based on a true story that occurred in the harbor at Havana.

"WATSON AND THE SHARK" BY JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY (1778) MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON
"WATSON AND THE SHARK" BY JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY (1778) MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON
CHARLES BIRD KING SELF PORTRAIT AT 70
CHARLES BIRD KING SELF PORTRAIT AT 70

CHARLES BIRD KING

Charles Bird King (1785-1862) of Rhode Island is best known for the over 100 portraits he painted of American Indians, on a commission from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.  This is ironic, since the father of Charles King was scalped and killed by a group of Native Americans when he was four years old. 

"YOUNG OMAHAW, WAR EAGLE, LITTLE MISSOURI, AND PAWNEES" BY CHARLES BIRD KING (1821) SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE
"YOUNG OMAHAW, WAR EAGLE, LITTLE MISSOURI, AND PAWNEES" BY CHARLES BIRD KING (1821) SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE
ARCHIBALD WILLARD IN 1875
ARCHIBALD WILLARD IN 1875

ARCHIBALD WILLARD

Archibald Willard (1836-1918) of Ohio fought in the Civil War.

The painting below was inspired by a veteran’s parade he attended.

Archibald Willard used his own father as the model for the middle figure.

This painting is currently displayed in the State Department.

"THE SPIRIT OF '76" OR "YANKEE DOODLE" BY ARCHIBALD WILLARD (1875)
"THE SPIRIT OF '76" OR "YANKEE DOODLE" BY ARCHIBALD WILLARD (1875)
WILLIAM MICHAEL HARNETT
WILLIAM MICHAEL HARNETT

WILLIAM HARNETT

William Harnett (1848-1892) of Philadelphia developed an oft-imitated style known as trompe l’oeil (fool the eye).

The still life paintings of ordinary objects by William Harnett are so realistic that they have been mistaken for the actual articles.

"MUSIC AND GOOD LUCK" OR "STILL LIFE WITH VIOLIN AND MUSIC" BY WILLIAM MICHAEL HARNETT (1888)
"MUSIC AND GOOD LUCK" OR "STILL LIFE WITH VIOLIN AND MUSIC" BY WILLIAM MICHAEL HARNETT (1888)
DANIEL RIDGWAY KNIGHT
DANIEL RIDGWAY KNIGHT

DANIEL RIDGWAY KNIGHT

Daniel Ridgway Knight (1839-1924) of Philadelphia specialized in painting peasant women outdoors.  He moved to France in 1872, and there he lived out his days.  It is easy to notice the finely detailed figures, acute attention to landscape portrayal, and subdued use of light and color, of Daniel Ridgway Knight. 

"GIRL WITH A BASKET IN A GARDEN" BY DANIEL RIDGWAY KNIGHT (1899)
"GIRL WITH A BASKET IN A GARDEN" BY DANIEL RIDGWAY KNIGHT (1899)
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL IN 1900
CHARLES MARION RUSSELL IN 1900

CHARLES MARION RUSSELL

Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926) grew up in Missouri, and lived most of his adult life in the state of Montana.  He is best known for the over 2,000 paintings he created of cowboys, Indians, and western landscapes.  “The Cowboy Artist” Charles Marion Russell was also a sculptor and author.  

"BRINGING HOME THE SPOILS" BY CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (1909)
"BRINGING HOME THE SPOILS" BY CHARLES MARION RUSSELL (1909)
THOMAS HART BENTON IN 1935
THOMAS HART BENTON IN 1935

THOMAS HART BENTON

Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) was born into a prominent Missouri family.

He was a leader of the Regionalist art movement, and also a famous art teacher.

Thomas Hart Benton painted scenes from everyday America life with a fluid, sculpted style.

"LORD, HEAL THE CHILD" BY THOMAS HART BENTON (1934)
"LORD, HEAL THE CHILD" BY THOMAS HART BENTON (1934)
REGINALD MARSH
REGINALD MARSH

REGINALD MARSH

Reginald Marsh (1898-1954) grew up in New Jersey, and lived his adult life in New York City.  His work is called Social Realism.  Reginald Marsh was famous for painting scenes that depicted the lives of the lower class members of society.  He also worked extensively as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines.

"TWENTY CENT MOVIE" BY REGINALD MARSH (1936)
"TWENTY CENT MOVIE" BY REGINALD MARSH (1936)
NORMAN ROCKWELL
NORMAN ROCKWELL

NORMAN ROCKWELL

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) of New York City may be the most beloved artist in American history.  Art critics sneered at his work, considering his paintings to be nothing more than sentimentalized, unrealistic portrayals of American life.  Those poor reviews were unfair because at that time art critics lived on the coasts, and were unaware of the America portrayed in Rockwell’s 4,000 paintings; Rockwell’s America was quite real.  

"HOMECOMING MARINE" BY NORMAN ROCKWELL (1945)
"HOMECOMING MARINE" BY NORMAN ROCKWELL (1945)
"SUFFLETON'S BARBER SHOP" BY NORMAN ROCKWELL (1950)
"SUFFLETON'S BARBER SHOP" BY NORMAN ROCKWELL (1950)
RICHARD ESTES IN 2009
RICHARD ESTES IN 2009

RICHARD ESTES

Richard Estes (b. 1932) is from Illinois. He is not only one of the founders, but also the acknowledged grand master of the photorealist movement.  Richard Estes used photographs to create paintings of clean, inanimate cityscapes that appear to be photographs.   Since 1962, he has lived in Spain.

"THE FOOD SHOP" BY RICHARD ESTES (1967)
"THE FOOD SHOP" BY RICHARD ESTES (1967)
ERNIE BARNES
ERNIE BARNES

ERNIE BARNES

Ernie Barnes (1938-2009) was a professional football player turned neo-mannerist painter from North Carolina.  The painting in this gallery was used as an album cover by Marvin Gaye, and in the closing credits of the television program Good Times, on which Ernie Barnes appeared several times. 

"SUGAR SHACK" BY ERNIE BARNES (1976)
"SUGAR SHACK" BY ERNIE BARNES (1976)
THOMAS KINKADE IN 2004
THOMAS KINKADE IN 2004

THOMAS KINKADE

Thomas Kinkade (b. 1958) of California is the “Painter of Light.”  He specializes in bucolic, idyllic scenes, painted with glowing highlights and saturated colors.  Art critics loathe him as a purveyor of kitsch, but he is the best selling painter of all time. Regular people simply love the spiritual expressions of this devout Christian. It is said that 1 out of 20 homes in America have at least one piece of art created by Thomas Kinkade.

"MASTERWORKS OF LIGHT" BY THOMAS KINKADE (2000)
"MASTERWORKS OF LIGHT" BY THOMAS KINKADE (2000)
"MOUNTAIN PARADISE" BY THOMAS KINKADE (2000)
"MOUNTAIN PARADISE" BY THOMAS KINKADE (2000)
"VILLAGE LIGHTHOUSE" BY THOMAS KINKADE (2008)
"VILLAGE LIGHTHOUSE" BY THOMAS KINKADE (2008)

OTHER ART HUBS

I previously published many Art Hubs including these:

Rembrandt is my favorite artist

Photographic Art

Impressionist Art Painters


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Comments 76 comments

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California

JAMES! This is a fantastic hub with "stunning artwork!" WOW! I like ALL of them! Honestly they all blew my mind.......they all have the "wow" factor. Thank you so much for putting this up here. I have never seen quite a few of them.....thank you!........

Beautiful........Night, G


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California

ok JAMES! I wanted to mention the few that really GOT me just for fun....

Music and Good luck

Girl With A Basket In Garden

AND BOTH By Thomas Kinkade......x


varkjie profile image

varkjie 6 years ago

Fantastic! Loved looking over this one!


"Quill" 6 years ago

Great hub and I found I sat for the longest while looking at "Watson and the Shark"...these will all stand the test of time...great hub.

Blessings


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

You've got a couple of my favorites here. Nice post!!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

GPAGE! You are my first visitor! Thank you, darlin' I surely appreciate your enthusiastic response to my gallery. Your remarks are gratifying to read. You are most assuredly welcome. :D

James


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I like anything about art. Especially for painting. And Thanks for showing me about this. I give big appreciation for your research. I enjoy all the picture above. I rate this Up! Good work, James.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

GPAGE! I could have guessed you would enjoy the musical instruments and the gardens--sort of like your own, eh?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

varkjie--- Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community.


advisor4qb profile image

advisor4qb 6 years ago from On New Footing

I love Kinkade! I have a book of his art in my office!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

"Quill"--- Thank you very much, my brother. Yes, that Copley painting can be mesmerizing. I really like it. Thanks for making your presence known. It's always great to hear from you.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

carolina muscle--- I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you. My, you are an early bird.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

James,

These are all great examples of American art. The art of Rockwell is legendary, but I really am amazed at the reality of the portraits of Charles Bird King.

Kinkade is another of my favorites.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

prasetio30--- I love art, too. Especially painting. You are welcome and thank you for the affirmation. :)

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

advisor4qb--- You are an early riser! I love Kinkade, too. Beauty is often disparaged. Thanks for coming.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Tom Whitworth--- Another early bird! The Charles Bird King is amazing, isn't it. We share our admiration for Rockwell and Kinkade. I thought it a nice idea to juxtapose the Kinkades with examples of great American Art and see how they compare. Quite well, I think.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you, James, for writing such a fantastic hub. Those painting are really products of geniuses. The depth in that painting of Rockwell is unbelievable. A phot wouldn't better. The details of the 'Homecoming of the Marines' is undescribable. I have never seen such masterpieces and yet they are not even half as famous. Thank you, James, for giving me so much pleasure to see them.


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast

Great hub, James. I love art and love looking at new things I haven't seen before. I have two large Kinkades that I love, but they are not like the ones you have pictured, they are more nautical (Perseverance & Sea of Tranquility) - I agree with some that his work can be kitsch and I'm not a fan of the "cottagey" ones, but I'm a fan of his mastery! Thanks for this enjoyable hub.


JannyC profile image

JannyC 6 years ago

Most enjoyable, and Americas top artist.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 6 years ago

Oh James these are beautiful. I have been to the Norman Rockwell museum and I am fascinated by the way he makes everything so REAL. Kinkaid is another favorite and I would enjoy seeing more of Knight's work. I like the one you showed here very much. Thank you James!! This was a pleasant little diversion...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Hello, hello,--- You are surely welcome. I only discovered "Homecoming Marine" yesterday myself and I am stunned by it's beauty and perfection and intimate detail. American artists have gotten a bit of the short shrift but they have produced some fine works. Thank you for the wonderful compliments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Lily Rose--- Thank you! The nautical Kinkades are beautiful. I did consider a lighthouse scene for this Hub. Yes, he is truly a masterful painter. You are quite welcome. Thanks for coming.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

JannyC--- Thank you very much for swinging in and leaving word that you enjoyed your visit.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Moonchild--- It is my pleasure to receive you. I have not been to the Rockwell museum but I intend to go as soon as I can. I do enjoy getting off into the beauty of the world to keep my balance. It can get pretty ugly out there. Be careful. :D


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

James - this is an astounding hub with amazing images. I don't need to go to an art history course as long as I follow James A. Watkins.

Thanks for this extraordinary and well-written hub.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

This is great James. The painters are so diverse. All ecellent in their own way


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

drbj--- Why, thank you so much. I am well pleased to receive your words. You are quite welcome. I appreciate the affirmation. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

ethel smith--- Thank you, my dear. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.


quietnessandtrust profile image

quietnessandtrust 6 years ago from Carbon Canyon, California

WILLIAM MICHAEL HARNETT'S painting looks like a photo it is so realistic, WOW !!!

LOL...critics loath the best selling painter of all time.

Being loathed ain't so bad it seems.

Great hub James...I loath you....hahhhahahahahahaha

~Shalom


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Will you be doing more aer hubs? I appreciate all that you included, but there are so many more - Grandma Moses, for one. Rothko is my favorite. Jackson Pollock. They're all interesting characters, too.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

That was wonderful, thank you. I haven't felt such warm feelings , looking at so many beautiful paintings since I visited the Louvre in Paris many years ago.

Your hub was just like going to a real art gallery, and a real GOOD art gallery. Take care x


Dynamics 6 years ago

Spectacular! I love the landscape scenery - makes me feel close connection to nature.

Thanks for sharing such beauty!


Deltachord profile image

Deltachord 6 years ago from United States

Enjoyed this article. i particularly like the painting by Ernie Barnes and Hart Benton's painting. They are expressive.

A friend of mine used to paint in the style of photorealism, but he can't paint now because of glaucoma.


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

You are the teacher...thank you so much for sharing. I enjoyed the article. Kinkade I am fond of but the others are very nice as well.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

What a wonderful group of American paintings. I wasn't familiar with Harnett and this painting is quite unique. Thanks for sharing this information. Good hub.


katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Magnificent art and a great education, a wonderful hub, James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

quietnessandtrust--- I agree with you. That Harnett painting is striking. Sometimes it's good to be loathed--if you are loathed for the right reasons. Know what I mean jelly bean?

Great to hear from you, my friend. Keep creating art. Shalom.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

sheila b.--- I will be doing one more Hub on American Art, and soon. I think I will turn to sculpture and photography after that. You listed several fine artists. And yes, many artists are a different breed, to be sure.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Dim Flaxenwick--- Thank you and you are welcome. I'm so glad you enjoyed this gallery. I appreciate your affirmation and ongoing support. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

DynamicS--- Thank you! I appreciate your visit and comments. You are most welcome. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Deltachord--- I am glad you enjoyed it. Yes, Barnes & Benton are expressive painters indeed. I am sorry to hear about your friend's glaucoma. Having one's joy taken away must be depressing.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Ictodd1947--- You are welcome. Thank you for letting me know that you enjoyed my Hub. It's nice to see you here.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Pamela99--- I agree that the Harnett painting is unique. Thank you for coming by and leaving your kind comments. And you are surely welcome, too.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

katyzzz--- Thank you! Thank you very much.


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Very nicely done James! Enjoyed the portraits....


mschloe269 6 years ago

James, wonderful hub. The Thomas Kinkade sent so many emotions thru me at once. He was one of my mothers most favorite painters. She spent hours painting and her style was a lot like his. I still have a lot of her paintings and it just floored me with the style likeness. Alana


cameciob profile image

cameciob 6 years ago

James, what a wonderful subject. And your selection is just great. This is my first encounter with american painters. Thanks for writing it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Michael Shane--- Thank you very much! I am well pleased that you enjoyed it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

mschloe269--- Thank you, my dear. Your mom was a good painter. I remember. I'm glad you have some of her work.

Jimmy


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

cameciob--- Thank you. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the gallery and appreciated the selections. You are surely welcome. :)


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

It is good to see all painters together. Wonderful pictures too.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Thomas Kinkade is just great! I like his "Masterworks of Light" Maita


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

H P Roychoudhury--- Thank you, kind sir, for visiting my Page and leaving your kind comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

prettydarkhorse--- Hey! Maita. It's nice to hear from you again. I agree with you: Kinkade is truly a masterful artist. :D


brethodge profile image

brethodge 6 years ago from USA

Some of the great work of art I have ever seen in my life.. these painters are awesome with their great work they made teh mark on the art side..


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

brethodge--- Thank you. Thank you very much. I am glad to see your comments. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community.


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

I love "The Girl With The Basket". All these wonderful paintings are breath taking. Such fine work James. God Bless You.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

stars439--- That is a wonderful painting. The girl looks so clean and sweet. I am well pleased that you appreciate this fine art. Thanks for coming by to visit.


andhra history 6 years ago

interesting hub, very useful information and paintings ofcourse amazing.

"GIRL WITH A BASKET IN A GARDEN" BY Daniel Ridgway Knight awesome and Thomas Kinkade's as well. i like the hub.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

andhra history— Thank you very much for visiting my Hub. I am glad you liked it. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!


electricsky profile image

electricsky 6 years ago from North Georgia

I enjoyed the colorful art gallery. Thanks for sharing.


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 6 years ago

I enjoyed seeing the paintings you've put together in this hub! Rated 5 and bookmarked!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

electricsky— You are most welcome. I am well pleased that you enjoyed the gallery. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community! :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

vox vocis— I am glad that you enjoyed this gallery. Thank you for the high praise indeed.


blue parrot profile image

blue parrot 6 years ago from Madrid, Spain

I enjoyed this hub and learned a lot. Thanks.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

blue parrot— I'm glad you did. Thank you and you're welcome.


G L Strout profile image

G L Strout 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

I am glad I finally got to this hub! A wonderful survey of artists. Thanks


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

G L Strout— I'm glad you took the time to check out this gallery. Thank you for the visit and you're welcome.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Very nice overview of American artists.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

dahoglund— Thank you! Thank you very much. :D


jamymilitan 5 years ago

very well done im in pressed


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

jamymilitan— Thank you!! Thank you very much! :D


Shreevie profile image

Shreevie 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

James, some stunning material here! The fact that you created this Hub months ago and it is still fascinating indicates the durability of art. I would like to include some of it in my online magazine aimed at over 40's.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Shreevie— I am flattered that you would like to include some of my material in your magazine. Thank you for the affirmation. Yes, I agree that certain subjects are timeless and those are the ones I write about most often. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 4 years ago from Isle of Man

James this is a feast for the eyes and food for the heart. Thank you for writing about these artists and showing us some of the work they did. This hub is an experience and the paintings have reached deep within me.I love them all but the work of two that stand out for me are Thomas Kinkade and Norman Rockwell. Do you have any of this art hanging on your walls?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Spirit Whisperer— You are quite welcome, my friend. I love these paintings, too, but no, I do not have any of them personally. I have seen most of them in museums.

I am with you: Rockwell and Kinkade are my favorites of these wonderful artists.

I am so glad that you liked this gallery. I love to write about art and artists and display their works. It is beautiful. :D

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