Short Cut, Watchung Station, New Jersey
George Inness, American, 1825 - 1894
In a bucolic landscape of northern New Jersey, Inness’s carefully manipulated vantage point places rural life and modern technology on a collision course. An elderly man leaning on a walking stick makes his way across a rickety bridge in the foreground, appearing to confront a train speeding in his direction in the background. The precarious position of the figure over a dark chasm conveys the artist’s sense of the vulnerability of historic tradition in the modern era, a concern that resonates with his admiration for the old masters.