American Hudson River School Painter, 1823-1900
Jasper Francis Cropsey (February 18, 1823 - April 23, 1900) was an important American landscape artist of the Hudson River School.
Cropsey was born on his father Jacob Rezeau Cropsey's farm in Rossville on Staten Island, New York, the oldest of eight children. As a young boy, Cropsey had recurring periods of poor health. While absent from school, Cropsey taught himself to draw. His early drawings included architectural sketches and landscapes drawn on notepads and in the margins of his schoolbooks. After studying architecture for five years, he turned his attention to landscape painting, under the instruction of Edward Maury. He visited England, France, Switzerland, and Italy in 1847, went abroad again in 1855, and resided seven years in London, sending his pictures to the Royal Academy and to the International exhibition of 1862.
After his return home in 1863, he opened a studio in New York, where he resided until 1885, when he removed to Hastings-on-Hudson.
Trained as an architect, he set up his own office in 1843. Cropsey studied watercolor and life drawing at the National Academy of Design and first exhibited there in 1844. A year later he was elected an associate member and turned exclusively to landscape painting in the 1840s, shortly after he was featured in an exhibition entitled "Italian Compositions."
Cropsey married Maria Cooley in May 1847, traveled in Europe from 1847-1849, was elected a full member of the Academy in 1851, and lived in England 1856-1863. During this time he specialized in autumnal landscape paintings of the northeastern United States, often idealized and with vivid colors. One such painting is "The Valley of the Wyoming" set in eastern Pennsylvania. The name of this valley was given to the western state of Wyoming.
He co-founded, with ten fellow artists, the American Society of Painters in Water Colors in 1866.