Edward Gay, a landscape painter, does not fit into any particular category. He learned his technique from artists with whom he studied, but was not very influenced by them. His paintings depicted what he saw. He did not romanticize or idealize.

Born in Ireland in 1837, Gay came to America with his parents in 1848 in the wake of the Potato Famine. They settled in Albany, New York. He had to go to work as a boy, but showed a talent for drawing. Encouraged by the Hart brothers and George Boughton, all successful local painters, he began to study with them.
In 1862, at the urging of the Harts, he went to Karlsruhe, Germany to continue his studies under Johann Schirmer and Karl Friedrich Lessing, both conventional historical painters. Although he learned much, Gay felt that he was wasting time.

When he returned to the U.S.A in 1864, he began painting large landscapes. Three years later, with his wife and growing family, he moved to Mount Vernon, NY. The area was open farmland, with sunny meadows and orchards stretching along Long Island Sound. These were the scenes that Gay painted for much of his life.

In 1903, he built a summer home at Cragsmoor in upstate New York and painted there. It was for his paintings of the rivers, fields and shores near Mount Vernon, where he died in 1928, however, that he was best known.


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