Jasper Francis Cropsey (February 18, 1823 鈥?June 22, 1900) was an important American landscape artist of the Hudson River School. Trained as an architect, he set up his own office in 1843. Cropsey studied watercolor and life drawing at the National Academy of Design under the instruction of Edward Maury and first exhibited there in 1844.
Cropsy traveled in Europe from 1847鈥?849, visiting England, France, Switzerland, and Italy. He was elected a full member of the Academy in 1851. He went abroad again in 1856, and resided seven years in London, sending his pictures to the Royal Academy and to the International exhibition of 1862.
Returning home, he opened a studio in New York and specialized in autumnal landscape paintings of the northeastern United States, often idealized and with vivid colors. Cropsey co-founded, with ten fellow artists, the American Society of Painters in Water Colors in 1866. Cropsey's interest in architecture continued throughout his life and was a strong influence in his painting, most evident in his precise arrangement and outline of forms. But Cropsey was best known for his lavish use of color and, as a first-generation member from the Hudson River School, painted autumn landscapes that startled viewers with their boldness and brilliance. As an artist, he believed landscapes were the highest art form and that nature was a direct manifestation of God. He also felt a patriotic affiliation with nature and saw his paintings as depicting the rugged and unspoiled qualities of America.
Jasper Cropsey died in anonymity but was rediscovered by galleries and collectors in the 1960s. Today, Cropsey's paintings are found in most major American museums.