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The Life and Letters of Washington Allston
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Washington Allston (1779–1843) was considered by many at the time to be the greatest painter yet produced by the United States. After four years at Harvard, where he made an impression with his poetry, he went to London and became a pupil of the artist Benjamin West. On a tour of the continent, he met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Rome, painted his portrait and became his firm friend. After a period at home, during which he married, Allston returned to London, and through Coleridge met Wordsworth, Southey, and the earl of Egremont, the great patron of artists, especially J. W. M. Turner. In this environment of intellectual and artistic experiment, Allston created paintings on religious, literary and historical topics, with an emphasis on landscape and contrasts of light and dark. This 1893 biography by his nephew and pupil Jared Bradley Flagg (1820–99) throws light on the artist, his works, and his milieu.

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