George Inness

Etretat – The Artists – Inness, George

This page forms part of a series of pages dedicated to the many artists who worked in Etretat. A full list of all the artists with a link to their works can be found at the bottom of this page.

George Inness
George Inness

Movement(s): Barbizon

George Inness (1825–1894) was a renowned American landscape painter, known today as one of the most important artists of the 19th century. Inness began his career influenced by the Hudson River School, but later studied the Old Masters and artists of the Barbizon school during his trips to Europe. There, he was introduced to Emanuel Swedenborg’s theology, which had a profound impact on him, leading him to express spirituality in his mature works (1879–1894).

Inness’s style changed throughout his 40-year career and 1,000 paintings, but his works always received praise for their ability to evoke mood, atmosphere, and emotion. He combined realism and impressionism to capture the essence of a location and was known for his mastery of light, color, and shadow. He often combined hazy elements with sharp details to show both the physical and spiritual nature of a scene. In his words, he aimed to show the “reality of the unseen” and link the “visible to the invisible.”

Inness passed away in 1894 in Scotland, while viewing the sunset. According to his son, he exclaimed “My God! Oh, how beautiful!” before collapsing and passing away minutes later.

For more information on Inness, click here to visit his Wikipedia page.

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1874 - George Inness - Etretat
1874 – George Inness – Etretat

TODAY: The Porte d’Aval is the most visible of three sea arches at Etretat. It lies to the left of the Etretat beach.

1874 - George Inness - Etretat
1874 – George Inness – Etretat
1874 - George Inness - Etretat
1874 – George Inness – Etretat

NOTE: This is the same sea arch as above, Porte d’Aval, but seen from the other side.

1874 - George Inness - Etretat
1874 – George Inness – Etretat
1875 - George Inness - Sunset at Etretat
1875 – George Inness – Sunset at Etretat
1880 - George Inness - Etretat, Normandy
1880 – George Inness – Etretat, Normandy
???? - George Inness - Etretat
???? – George Inness – Etretat

To our knowledge, George Inness only painted in one town in France:

Etretat is the second most popular and visited place in Normandy (the first being Mont Saint-Michel). And since it was popular, many artists came here to be inspired by its nature and scenic environments. Here is a list of artists who worked in Etretat (a link “⇠” to their work will appear when published).

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Today: Porte d'Aval seen from the beach
Today: Porte d’Aval seen from the beach
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