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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Ralph Albert Blakelock, The Lagoon

blakelock - lagoon

Ralph Albert Blakelock

The Lagoon
About 1880s
Oil on canvas, laid on panel
Gift of Peter A. Vogt, Class of 1944, in memory of Warren C. Agry, Class of 1945, Tuck 1947; 2006.10

The Lagoon reveals Ralph Albert Blakelock’s (1847-1919) understated, meditative style, in which he typically silhouetted trees in full leaf against warm-toned skies at twilight or sunrise. His subdued palette, indistinct forms, and encrusted surfaces suggest that he was less interested in conveying topographical fact than a mood as well as the sensuous pleasure of painting itself. During his late years Blakelock suffered financial woes that were exacerbated by his mental instability. He had a breakdown in 1891 and in 1899 was confined to a mental institution. Sadly, his melancholy, unorthodox canvases did not find popular favor until after his death, when he came to be recognized as one of the most important visionary painters in late-nineteenth-century America. This is the first painting by Blakelock to enter the Hood’s collection, where it joins several other works donated by Peter A. Vogt, Class of 1944.

Last Updated: 11/14/06