The Charter Oak, Hartford” by Frederic Church

The Charter Oak, Hartford” by Frederic Church, early 1846, oil on canvas, 22 1/8 x 30 1/8, Olana State
Historic Site, OL.1981.16

Landscapes have been common subject matter for painters for centuries. Some simply depict the
landscape “as is” with varying focuses on lighting, seasons, etc., while other painters use the landscape to
“tell a story”. This painting is by an artist, Frederic Church who was part of the group called the Hudson
River Painters during the latter part of the 19th century.

Take a look at the landscape painting shown above. What is the story you think the artist is trying to tell?
Describe what aspects of the painting give you this idea. What techniques is the artist using to tell the
“story”? (color palette, composition, brushwork, subject matter) Try to be as specific as possible in your
comments. Respond to comments of other students.

Sample Solution