Born and trained in Amsterdam, Cornelius de Beet immigrated to Baltimore around 1810, the year in which his name first appeared in the city directories as an ornamental, landscape, and fancy painter. The artist exhibited landscape and still life subjects at the Pennsylvania Academy from 1812 until 1832, and at the Peale Museum in 1822. Most of the landscapes were views of the Baltimore countryside, as exemplified by this work. Like other early landscapists, de Beet preferred truthful but artistic transcriptions of real scenes over imaginary views. One of the distinguishing characteristics of his style is the feathery brushwork which he acquired as a youth in Europe.
Widely admired for its natural beauty, Jones Falls attracted several artists. Around 1800, the English immigrant Francis Guy painted views of Pennington Mills,Jones Falls Valley, Looking Upstream, and Pennington Mills, Jones Falls Valley, Looking Downstream, as well as Jones Falls at Baltimore Street Bridge. A view of Jones Falls near Baltimore was included in Joshua Shaw’s Picturesque Views of American Scenery, an 1820 book designed "to exhibit correct delineations of some of the most prominent beauties of natural scenery in the United States."
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ARTWORK: Cornelius De Beet
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