Aurora Borealis (1865) is an oil on canvas landscape painting by the American landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), measuring (framed) 142.6 cm x 212.1 cm (56 1/8 x 83 1/2 in), currently on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
Frederic Edwin Church is renowned as one of the central figures in the Hudson River School of American landscape painters. Church dedicated most of his life for exploring the power of natural beauty through his landscape paintings. Church painted Canadian icebergs, Niagara Falls, South American volcanoes, and the Andes (The Heart of the Andes, 1859) by including a ‘spiritual dimension in his works’.
In his pursuit of studying the beauty of nature and painting it, he has traveled extensively to South America, Europe, and the Middle East, including Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.
During his travels, he made notes and sketches of the mansions, palaces, and historic monuments, and the influence of these can be seen in his ‘Persian-inspired’ mansion, The Olana Mansion, located in the south part of Greenport (New York) in Columbia County, to the south of Hudson and east of Catskill. Olana Mansion has become the Olana State Historic Site since its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
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