Born in Hillsdale, Hudson, New York, John Bunyan Bristol was a contemporary of the founder of the Hudson River School, Frederic Church and is considered part of this group of artists. A very accomplished artist in his own right, he was largely self-taught, but had taken lessons with Hudson River School artist Henry Ary. Bristol never studied abroad like many of his contemporaries did, but seems to have been content to paint the beautiful landscapes quite close to home – the Catskill and Adirondack mountains of New York State, Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains of New Hampshire, the Berkshire Mountains and the Connecticut River Valley. In the early 1860s, 19th-century artist John Bunyan Bristol had made New York his home port; however, he spent his summers traveling through New York City, and in 1859 he visited Florida where he painted scenes of St. Augustine and the St. John River. . His works have been compared to those of Hudson River artists John F. Kensett and Asher B. Durand. Samuel Isham in his 1905 book The History of American Painting wrote of Bristol, now in his late sixties, that he “still worked today with an indefatigable eye and hand, was a another of the men who remained faithful to the primitive spirit of [Hudson River] school; and more that Kensett retained and developed Durand’s silvery tones ”. Bristol was a member of the Century Association; National Academy of Design; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Artists Fund Society. exhibited at the National Academy of Design (1858 – 1900); Centennial Exhibition (Philadelphia, 1876, medal); Paris Exhibition (1889, price); Pan American Exposition (Buffalo, NY, 1901, medal); Brooklyn Arts Association; Boston Art Club; and the Art Institute of Chicago.
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