Pittsford on The Erie Canal

Pittsford on The Erie Canal
George Harvey intended to "represent the phases of the day and year, under various atmospheric effects of storm and calm - of sunshine and gloom." "Pittsford on The Erie Canal" is interesting because of the stippling technique Harvey employed. Reflecting his experience and training as a miniaturist, Harvey carefully placed tiny spots of color side by side to produce a skillfully designed effect when viewed from a distance. The watercolor is small, yet is quite detailed. Depth is carefully created as the eye is drawn from the larger figures in the foreground to the small town on the horizon. The colors accurately reflect colors in nature and the painting evokes the light and atmosphere of a summer day. Calm is further indicated by reflection of the figures in the canal. This painting is representative of the developing American watercolor tradition in the 19th century. This landscape, and others of the atmospheric series, differ from earlier watercolors executed by Harvey in his use of the tight stippling and his interest in light, atmosphere and color. This scene is of King's Bend on the original Erie Canal, approximately one mile west of the center of Pittsford Village and looking towards the village. It was usual to have 250 canal boats a week pass through Pittsford, with more in the peak fall shipping season. The Erie Canal, a 363-mile-long waterway that connects Albany to Buffalo, was a revolution in transportation that linked New York City and the Hudson River to the Great Lakes and Western Reserve. The canal, completed in 1825, allowed people and goods to be carried with relative ease through terrain that was less hospitable to overland traffic, and it resulted in unprecedented population growth and prosperity for New York State. None of this would have been possible without the strength and endurance of mules and horses, which pulled the canal boats for hundreds of miles.
Physical dimensions: 
height 20.25 in ; width 25.25 in