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Unidentified Artist  Search this
Copy after:
Samuel Worcester Rowse, 29 Jan 1822 - 24 May 1901  Search this
Henry David Thoreau, 12 Jul 1817 - 6 May 1862  Search this
Stipple and line steel engraving on paper
Image: 7.3 × 6 cm (2 7/8 × 2 3/8")
Sheet: 19 × 12.6 cm (7 1/2 × 4 15/16")
c. 1863
Exhibition Label:
Henry David Thoreau’s classic book Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854) helped establish the nature writing tradition in the United States and had a lasting impact on environmental thought. Influenced by transcendentalist ideas of self-reliance and spiritual communion with nature, Thoreau retreated to land owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson on Walden Pond from 1845 to 1847. “I went to the woods,” he wrote, “because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach.” A moderate success during Thoreau’s lifetime, Walden grew in influence after the author’s death as admirers began promoting his work.
In 1919, the nature writer John Burroughs reflected on Thoreau’s significance: “He drew a gospel out of the wild; he brought messages from wood-gods to men; he made a lonely pond in Massachusetts a fountain of the purest, most elevating thoughts.”
El clásico de Henry David Thoreau, Walden, o La vida en los bosques (1854), contribuyó a afianzar en Estados Unidos la tradición de la “literatura de la naturaleza”, dejando su huella en el pensamiento ambientalista. Guiado por las ideas trascenden talistas de autosuficiencia y comunión espiritual con la naturaleza, Thoreau se retiró entre 1845 y 1847 a un terreno que poseía Ralph Waldo Emerson en la laguna Walden. “Fui a los bosques”, escribió, “porque quería vivir deliberadamente, enfrentar solo los hechos esenciales de la vida, y ver si podía apren der lo que ella tenía que enseñar”. Aunque de éxito modesto en vida de Thoreau, tras su muerte Walden fue ampliando su impacto mientras los admiradores promovían al autor.
En 1919, el escritor naturalista John Burroughs reflexionó sobre Thoreau: “De los bosques extrajo un evangelio; llevó a los hombres mensajes de los dioses-bosques; transformó un solitario estanque de Massachusetts en un manantial del más puro y elevado pensamiento”.
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Henry David Thoreau: Male  Search this
Henry David Thoreau: Literature\Writer  Search this
Henry David Thoreau: Literature\Writer\Poet  Search this
Henry David Thoreau: Science and Technology\Scientist\Naturalist  Search this
Henry David Thoreau: Literature\Writer\Essayist  Search this
Henry David Thoreau: Literature\Writer\Diarist  Search this
Henry David Thoreau: Society and Social Change\Transcendentalist  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
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See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Forces of Nature: Voices that Shaped Environmentalism
On View:
NPG, North Gallery 220
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery