Edward M. Bannister (1828-1901), The Farm Landing, 1892; Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches; Signed lower right.
The paintings of Edward M. Bannister are suffused with a unique sense of tranquility and the transience of time and nature. The first African-American artist to receive formal national recognition, Bannister never studied abroad and was largely self-taught. Though he was impressed by paintings of the Barbizn School, his own work never bore the stamp of academic art or any particual master. The soft edges, energetic brushwork, and dramatic contrast of light and drak in his paintings foreshadow Tonalism. The Farm Landing, like his best paintings stands as a testament to his highly poetic vision and his belief in nature as the physical manifestation of spirituality.
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