George Whitaker, Woodland Road, oil on canvas 42” x 28”


George William Whitaker (1841-1916) Dean of Rhode Island Artists

Subject Matter:

Landscapes, seascapes


Trained and apprenticed as an engraver; encouraged by A. Wyant and G. Inness; studied in Paris at Académie Julian and received private instruction with DePaal; deeply influenced by the Barbizon School

Collections & publications:

Brown University, Brown University—Gardner House, Moses Brown School, Newport Art Museum, Providence Art Club, Rhode Island Historical Society, Rhode Island School of Design


Founding member of the Providence Art Club, Founding member of the Ann Eliza Club, Providence Water Color Club

Art Friends:

Alexander Wyant, George Inness, E.M. Bannister, Charles Walter Steston


George William Whitaker’s landscapes envelope the viewer into the world of New England. His paintings have a dark palette that captures the awe of nature, while containing a balance with elements of light. Often the sky is a clear blue and there are patches of light peaking out throughout the middle and background, inviting the viewers to move their eyes around the painting. He places the paint thickly down on the canvas, with strong lines that lead the eye to the spots of light, while adding texture to the overall piece. Whitaker places spots of color last, leaving his final statement on the canvas to be one of color within the dark.

“He was not alone a painter, who…could express through his brush the forbidding awe of the thunder cloud …but he was above all a poet, a thinker and a philosopher” – Providence Daily Journal 1916