The Morning Mist

Like many of John Frederick Kensett’s mature works, The Morning Mist does not shout, it whispers. His view of a lake, mountains, and sky suggests the gentle poetry of nature. The distant rower on the left serves as a reminder that nineteenth-century Americans liked to escape the pressures of modern urban life by retreating to unspoiled country. Presumably, a landscape painting like this, hung on the walls of a city home, could serve as an ever-present substitute for such a restorative experience.

To draw the viewer into this magic realm, Kensett establishes a viewpoint at the water’s edge with points of land, curving shadows, and swirling clouds. Warm, glowing colors and trails of mist set the proper mood, while a careful placement of land masses gives a feeling of equilibrium and enclosure. Kensett’s landscape evokes a benign nature, compliant with the needs of man. Morning Mist is one of many works left unfinished in Kensett’s studio at the time of his death.

Located in the American Art Gallery

Go on an adventure, anytime!

With a membership you can be a part of the Haggin Museum all year long. Starting as low as $35 per year.