American landscape painter, Sanford Robinson Gifford, was born in Greenfield, New York in 1823. He studied both at Brown University and in New York City to study figure drawing under watercolorist John Rubens Smith. His first exhibition was in 1947 at the National Academy, where he was elected an associate in 1851.
Gifford traveled all over New England studying and painting landscapes. He also traveled to Europe from 1855 to 1857 to study and paint. It was in Europe that he met fellow artist Albert Bierstadt. The artists traveled together for a while.
Sanford Robinson Gifford’s landscape paintings became known for their Luminism. He placed importance on light and soft atmospheric effects. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he served in the 7th Regiment of the New York Militia. Following the war he and his wife traveled to Europe, the Middle East and Egypt as well as returning to the states and traveling to the Rocky Mountains. Sanford Robinson Gifford passed away at the age of 57 after contracting malarial fever. More than 700 paintings were on record and published by him at that time. Personal letters and notes are currently located at the Archives of American Art and the Smithsonian Institution and his art is on permanent exhibit at the Toledo Museum of Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Sanford Robinson Gifford was one of the most successful American landscape artists and a leading member of the Hudson River School.