Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880) was a leading American landscape painter and member of the Hudson River School. Gifford had a great liking for the mountains, valleys, and rivers of the region. He explored New England, upstate New York and New Jersey. He also travelled extensively around the Catskill, Adirondack, and White Mountains. Gifford made extensive trips through Europe and the Middle East.
He first sketched rough, small images as pencil drawings in his sketchbook. Select, and few scenes were further developed as small but neatly finished paintings. These further grew into larger, and finished paintings. His repertoires of paintings were situationally varied, and each depicted the unique atmospheric conditions and territorial characteristics.
Gifford's landscapes are known ‘for their emphasis on light and soft atmospheric effects’. He filled the skies with soft hazy light. He is considered a practitioner of ‘Luminism’, a sub-style of the Hudson River School. Some of his finest art was painted in his last few years.