Although 19th-century painter Thomas Prichard Rossiter did not enjoy a great amount of professional success during his lifetime, the Boscobel House in Garrison, New York, is honoring the man with his first retrospective.
While Thomas Prichard Rossiter occasionally rubbed shoulders with the likes of John Frederick Kensett, Thomas Cole, and Asher B. Durand of the Hudson River School, he was not able to harness the same degree of notoriety or success as his peers. Some have suggested that the artist’s desire to paint subjects other than landscape — such as history — may have contributed to his “unfashionable” status in the mid-19th century. Even so, the painter was a prodigy and his skill undeniable.

Thomas Prichard Rossiter, “The Old Porch (Washington Irving Reading Knickerbocker’s Tales of NY to his Wife [sic] on the Porch of Sunnyside),” 1858, oil on canvas, Private collection, Courtesy of Boscobel House and Gardens.

“A Picnic on the Hudson,” of 1863, is a virtuoso display of the artist’s ability. A large group of well-to-do friends and acquaintances of the painter sit and recline leisurely on a beautiful day along the Hudson River. Rossiter has skillfully rendered each individual with care, noting the details in their clothing, posture, and position within the composition. At distance, we see the magnificent Hudson River, with sailboats gliding gently across the horizon. “Rossiter’s paintings captured some of the most famous 19th-century residents and landmarks of the Hudson Valley,” says Boscobel House curator Jennifer Carlquist.
The exhibition will feature approximately 25 paintings and works on paper from public and private collections, displaying Rossiter’s portraits, still lifes, landscapes, genre scenes, and history paintings. For an added experience, visitors can tour the painter’s original house, located just north of the Boscobel House and Gardens.
“Every Kind of Painter: Thomas Prichard Rossiter” opened on August 2 and will be on view through November 29.
To learn more, visit the Boscobel House and Gardens.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.


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