George Lafayette Clough was a notable New York landscape painter of the nineteenth century. His numerous naturalistic landscapes are of the Hudson River School. Born in Auburn, New York in 1824, Clough was one of six children raised by a widowed mother.
Although he was basically self taught, Clough probably received some early training from local portrait painter Randall Palmer. Around 1844, Clough set up his own studio above a store in Auburn. Soon afterward painter Charles Loring Elliott came to Auburn to paint a commissioned portrait; he asked Clough to lend him the studio. Clough and Elliott became friends and Clough studied with Elliott in Auburn and New York City.
Clough went to Europe to study in the early 1850s. He copied paintings at the Louvre, and went to Holland, Germany and Italy. When Clough returned to America, he began to concentrate on landscapes. Pastoral landscapes were his primary subject. While most of his paintings depicted the area around Auburn, Clough also painted throughout Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and New England.
During the 1860s and 1870s, Clough painted urban scenes, often using New York City as a subject. He also painted some genre scenes around 1870. Toward the end of the 1870s, Clough again concentrated on landscapes. All Clough's paintings were rather academic. He painted sensitive, emotional scenes, with an emphasis on the natural lighting and atmosphere of each.
Clough died in Auburn in 1901.
Art Club Brooklyn Brush and Palette Club
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh