Enriching today’s décor with exceptional paintings from the past

James Hope (American, 1818-1892)Rainbow Falls Watkins Glen

Oil on canvas, 11.5 x 8.5 inches / Signed lower left

Hope was born in Roxboroughshire, Scotland and immigrated to Canada with his father in 1831. At the end of a five-year apprenticeship to a wagon maker, he used his money to spend a year at Castleton Seminary (now Castleton State College). An injury to his ankle kept him homebound, where the luxury of leisure time saw him practicing portraiture. Having natural talent combined with his practice during his convalescence allowed him to set up a successful portraiture practice in West Rutland, Vermont in 1843. Although a skilled portraitist, he was drawn to landscape painting and began to paint the scenery of the area. The remainder of his career was dedicated to landscape painting. He opened a studio in New York City, painting there during the winter, returning to Castleton during the summer. Hope served as a Captain with Regiment B of the 2nd Vermont Infantry during the American Civil War. He made battle scene sketches, most notably of the bloody battle of Antietam, which he translated into a series of five large paintings following the war. In 1872, Hope moved to Watkins Glen, New York and opened a gallery where he displayed his famous Civil War panoramas and his other artworks, most notably those of the Rainbow Falls. The gallery fell into disrepair after his death in 1892 and in 1932 was flooded destroying much of his work and inflicting heavy damage on his battle scene paintings. .

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