Ralph Albert Blakelocki
(b New York, 15 Oct 1847; d Elizabethtown, NY, 9 Aug 1919).
American painter. One of the most important visionary artists in late 19th-century America, he was self-taught as a painter. From 1867 he was exhibiting landscapes in the style of the Hudson River school at the National Academy of Design in New York. Rather than going abroad for advanced training, like most of his contemporaries, he spent the years 186972 in the western United States. Back in New York, Blakelock evolved his personal style during the 1870s and 1880s. Eschewing literal transcriptions of nature, he preferred to paint evocative moonlit landscapes such as Moonlight (Washington, DC, Corcoran Gal. A.). These paintings, almost never dated, often included camp-fires or solitary figures; but such elements were absorbed into the setting rather than being the paintings focus, as in Moonlight Indian Encampment (Washington, DC, N. Mus. Amer. A.). Blakelocks images, imbued with a melancholy that had been evident even in his early work, drew on his deeply felt response to nature.