Inness and the Berkshires

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Home The Berkshires as a Modern Arcadia Real and Ideal Spirituality in the Everyday Inness's Berkshire Patrons
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The region of Arcadia in ancient Greece had a mythical status in art and literature as an earthly paradise. Idyllic rural areas like the Berkshires, considered modern-day arcadias, attracted artists and writers as well as wealthy summer residents who built country houses as retreats from the increasingly crowded and industrialized cities of the Northeast. The county's reputation was enhanced by writers including Inness's patron Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), a New York minister who promoted living in harmony with nature as a means of achieving spiritual well-being. The Berkshires provided Inness with a pastoral landscape through which he could develop his own ideas about the spiritual dimension of the natural world.  

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