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Ralph Albert Blakelock

Ralph Albert Blakelock Ralph Albert Blakelock (October 15,1847 - August 9,1919) was a passionate Romanticist painter from the United States of America. At first glance, Blakelock`s style is suggestive of the French Barbizon school, yet, his technique was extremely personal and he evoked the viewer into a brilliant, other worldly realm with his individualistic style. Blakelock is considered to be one of the most distinctive American painters of his era.

Moonlight, 1885   view gallery »


Ralph Albert Blakelock was born in New York City. He entered the Free Academy of the City of New York with hopes in becoming a physician. He dropped out after his third term and from 1869-71 he traveled west. Staying far away from known civilization, Blakelock spent most of his time with American Indians. Self taught as an artist, he began to create landscapes portraying views from his journeys, as well as imagery of American Indian life. The National Academy of Design exhibited his work.
Blakelock was married in 1877 to Cora Rebecca Bailey - who gave birth to their nine children. Blakelock was a genius in art, yet, in business and monetary transactions he was a complete failure. He could not handle supporting his family and in desperation, sold his paintings for very low costs - far less than their known worth. Time and time again Blakelock had unsuccessful business transactions and failed art sales. He began to suffer from severe depression and his mental state was in serious question. Eventually, in 1899, he had a major breakdown.
Lacking the broad medical knowledge known today, Blakelock was committed to a sanatorium for what was diagnosed as a serious mental disease - now believed to have been schizophrenia. He became delusional and believed he was filthy rich - possibly a reparation for his struggles trying to provide for his wife and children. He continued to paint while confined and he did so until his death on Aug 9, 1919 at the age of 72. Blakelock`s works began to receive recognition almost as soon as he was committed into his first psychiatric hospital. Paintings he had previously sold for petty change were being resold for thousands. One of Blakelock`s paintings entitled `Moonlight` was sold at the highest price ever paid for the art of an American artist still living at that time. Unfortunately, he nor his family ever profited from the rise in his public popularity and growth of his art sales.


  
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  » Nov 20, 2017  




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