At the time of his death and well into this century, George Inness was considered to have been the greatest American landscape painter. The artist grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and New York City. Except for brief instruction from John Jesse Barker (1815-1860) and Regis François Gignoux (1816-1882), he was self taught. By 1844 Inness was exhibiting regularly at the National Academy of Design and in the following years made regular sales to the American Art-Union. He was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1853. In 1851-52 he visited Italy and in 1853 France. During the early 1860s he lived in Medfield, Massachusetts, then Eagleswood, New Jersey, before moving back to New York in 1867.
Inness was elected to full membership in the National Academy of Design in 1868. From 1870 to 1875 he was in Italy and then in France before returning to Medfield. In 1877 he was a founding member of the Society of American Artists. The following year he moved to Montclair, New Jersey, thenceforth his permanent home. He sometimes wintered in Virginia and Florida and summered on Nantucket, Massachusetts. In 1891 he visited California. In 1884 a retrospective exhibition of his works was held at the American Art Galleries in New York.
Elliott Daingerfield, George Inness: The Man and His Art (New York: Privately printed, 1911) § George Inness, Jr., Life, Art, and Letters of George Inness (New York: Century, 1917) § LeRoy Ireland, comp., The Works of George Inness: An Illustrated Catalogue Raisonné (Austin: University of Texas Press in cooperation with University Art Museum of University of Texas, 1965), with foreword by Robert G. McIntyre, chronology, list of exhibitions, bibliography § Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., The Life and Work of George Inness (New York: Garland, 1977), with bibliography § LACMA and others, George Inness, exh. cat., 1985, with essays by Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., and Michael Quick, with reprint of George Inness, "A Painter on Painting," Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (1878), bibliography.