Sanford Robinson Gifford was one of the greatest landscape painters in American history. Gifford was born in Greenfield, NY. He was considered a landscape painter of great sensitivity; his studies of light made him a founder of American Luminism.
He attended Brown University for two years (1842-44) then withdrew to devote himself to painting. He was inspired by Thomas Cole, and traveled with such artists as Bierstadt, Whittredge, and Kensett.
Gifford was one of the most popular members of his school, and was honored at his death by a memorial exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum with an accompanying catalog of his entire work.