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American painter Elihu Vedder's work from his journey up the Nile on view at the Hudson River Museum
The Questioner of the Sphinx, 1875. Oil on canvas, 10 ¾ x 12 5/16 inches. Collection of the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Riley, Jr.
YONKERS, NY.- American painter Elihu Vedder journed up the Nile from December 1889 to April 1890 and recorded his fascination with Egypt’s panoramas in artwork presented for the first time in this exhibition organized by the Hudson River Museum.

In the late 19th century Egypt beckoned to Americans as a stop on the Grand Tour. Wealthy tourists and artists marveled at its wondrous pyramids and temples and the desolate beauty of a desert landscape juxtaposed with the great Nile River. The exotic fascinated Elihu Vedder, an American artist, too, and from winter to spring in 1890, he traveled from Cairo to Wadi Halfa, and back, the guest of George F. Corliss of the famous Corliss Engine Company in Providence, Rhode Island. In those five months, he drew and painted the Nile’s panoramas of sand, cliffs and ancient ruins, often aboard a rented dahabeya, a traditional Egyptian houseboat.

The Hudson River Museum organized Voyage on the Nile, an exhibition of forty of Vedder’s Nile Journey artworks on view for the first time. Private collectors, art galleries, and major museums lent work for this exhibition, which is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, with essays, by Linda Ferber, Senior Art Historian and Museum Director Emerita, New-York Historical Society; Egyptologist Floyd Lattin; and, Laura Vookles, the Museum’s Chief Curator of Collections.

Elihu Vedder was born February 26, 1836 in New York City. Vedder trained in New York City with Tompkins H. Matteson, then in Paris with François-Édouard Picot. Finally, he completed his studies in Italy - where he was strongly influenced not only by Italian Renaissance work but also by the modern Macchiaioli painters and the living Italian landscape. Vedder visited England many times, and was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, and was a friend of Simeon Solomon. He was also influenced by the work of English and Irish mystics such as William Blake and William Butler Yeats. In 1890 Vedder helped establish the In Arte Libertas group in Italy.

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