Jervis McEntee: (July 14, 1828 - January 27, 1891) was an American painter of the Hudson River School. He is a somewhat lesser-known figure of the 19th century American art world, but was close friends and travelling companions with several of the important Hudson River School artists.
Aside from his paintings, McEntee's enduring legacy is the detailed journal he kept from the early 1870s until his death. In it, McEntee records a detailed account of Hudson River School artists, their day-to-day life, gossip and personal reflections, and the overall arc of the American art world in the second half of the 19th century. He discusses his artistic successes and trials, particularly as money becomes more scarce with the decline in popularity of Hudson River School art. McEntee's journal is now kept by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is available online.
McEntee was born in Rondout, New York on July 14, 1828. Little is known of his childhood. He exhibited his first painting at the National Academy of Design in New York City in 1850. The following year he apprenticed with Frederic Edwin Church, who was then regarded as a rising star in the American art world. Church and McEntee remained lifelong friends, though McEntee never approached Church's fame and fortune. McEntee was a particularly close friend of Hudson River School artists Sanford Robinson Gifford and Worthington Whittredge as well as figurative painter Eastman Johnson.
The landscapes of Jervis McEntee are known for their melancholy and poetic mood. The sky is often cloudy in a McEntee landscape, the season autumn. While Jasper Francis Cropsey and other artists typically painted bright fall foliage, McEntee often captured the season near its end, with the leaves faded and falling from the trees. "Some people call my landscapes gloomy and disagreeable," McEntee wrote in his journal, "They say I paint the sorrowful side of nature...But this is a mistake...Nature is not sad to me but quiet, pensive, restful."
McEntee died on January 27, 1891 of Bright's disease and is buried in Wiltwycke Cemetery in Kingston, New York.