Brilliance and madness; poverty and fame—the life of Ralph Albert Blakelock (1847–1919) forms one of the more fascinating chapters in the history of American art.
His early work centered on evocative scenes of the West in the manner of the Hudson River school, drawn from his solitary travels among native tribes. Blakelock later developed a singular expressive style marked by the thick brushwork and scuffed surfaces with which he rendered moody, near-hallucinatory moonlit landscapes.
All his working life Blakelock struggled for recognition. Desperate to feed his large family and increasingly delusional, he finally succumbed to schizophrenia and was committed to an asylum in 1899. While there, Blakelock at last achieved great renown—yet even so, he was victimized by charlatans in his final years. Questroyal Fine Art will tell Blakelock’s story in a selling exhibition of 125 of his paintings from all phases of his remarkable artistic career.
Ralph Albert Blakelock: The Great Mad Genius Returns • Questroyal Fine Art, New York • November 11 to December 10 • questroyalfineart.com