Ralph Albert Blakelock (Ralph Albert Blakelock)

Ralph Albert Blakelock

Artist. American romantic painter. One of the great original romantic artists of late-19th-century America. After attending a year and a half of college, he dropped out and inspired to take up painting. His highly original work, often painted from memories, was not highly popular among contemporaries. His favorite theme was the deep forest with its wildness and solitude; the hours were sunset, twilight, or moonlit nights–seldom full daylight. Entirely self-taught, by the age of 20 he was painting rich, sophisticated and intimate landscapes- even exhibiting in the National Academy of Design. In his early 20s he journeyed to the Far West, wandering far from civilization and spending some time among the Indians; this experience resulted in a lifelong fascination with the forest and its Indian inhabitants that later became fixed motives in his work.He, his wife Cora and  9 children lived in abject poverty. Struggling to promote and sell his work, Blakelock desperately offered a painting to a  collector for $1000 the day his 9th daughter was born. The collector offered a counter offer of $500. The shrewd customer bought the painting for $300. Frustrated and angry, he tore the cash to shreds. He was later pronounced insane and institutionalized in a New York State asylum. In his early seventies, after 20 wasted years, he regained sanity and died a month later. (bio by: Malcolm Nicoll)  Family links:  Parents:  Ralph B. Blakelock (1818 – 1897)


  • October, 15, 1847
  • USA


  • August, 08, 1919
  • USA


  • Kensico Cemetery
  • USA

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