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The Quarry Analysis

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When I visited the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for this paper I wandered the majority of the museum looking for a piece and “The Quarry” called out to me right as I passed through the Gallery of American Art, but not wanting to miss out on a chance at another painting I toured the rest of the museum. However, in the end I came back two “The Quarry” drawn by its quiet, yet striking appearance with the light striking the cliff face.
“The Quarry” painted by Romantic painter Robert S. Duncanson finished while he was in Cincinnati and finished just as the Civil War started. The bucolic landscape while only 14 ½” by 22 5/8” holds a great deal of detail and emotion. Framed on one side by the sheer walls of the quarry, their fractured, rough, tawny
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Closest to the viewer on the other side on the side of a hill stand a broken, weather-beaten tree. Across the lake is another outcropping of rock that marks a divide between what nature is reclaiming and cultivated lands, the spreading, freshly mown fields leading to a small village tucked into the foothills of the mountains towering behind it, and silhouetted against those same mountains a plume of smoke or steam billows to the sky, large enough that it has to be from a factory. Beyond that lies only green and heather mountains and the sky stretches over it all laden with leaden clouds.
“The Quarry” is not a painting that necessarily a painting that jumps out at you due to its subdued colour palette, the low-key value set for the most part, and his fairly neutral palette. However, the sense of light
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as the foremost landscape painter in the west, beyond that he was widely known for his works outside of the U.S. not only that, but he managed to do so as a person of mixed heritage in the tempestuous years that came before the Civil War. A time of both economic growth and tremendous instability. While he was painting, it he was living in Cincinnati so while it was a turbulent time he was far enough north that there was some degree of stability. When things started to fall apart as the war started he would easily be able to make his was across the border into Canada to Montreal and from there on to England and the rest of
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