Forest Bathing: Quick Bite

Today on Museum Quick Bites we’re indulging in some forest bathing with a deep dive into Herman Herzog’s, Sketching on Beaver’s Creek (c1880-1885). Take a deep breath and feast your eyes on this lush, woodsy scene. From the sun spilling through the trees, to the burbling creek, to the wee artist perched beneath his umbrella. Zoom in and check out the delightful details. Notice the artist’s jaunty hat, palette of paints, and canvas where he captures this scene from a slightly different vantage point. The entire composition has a tranquil vibe. Kick off your shoes and wade on in.

Sketching on Beaver's Creek (c1880-1885) by Herman Herzog, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Photo by cjverb (2019)-400px
Sketching on Beaver’s Creek (c1880-1885) by Herman Herzog, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Photo by cjverb (2019)

Fun Forest Fact: Forest bathing, aka shinrin-yoku in Japanese, is the practice of immersing yourself in nature. Research has shown that time in the forest can lower blood pressure, pulse rate, and stress hormones. To learn more, click on this Forest Bathing link, courtesy of National Geographic Magazine.

Herman Herzog (1831-1932) was a popular and prolific landscape painter. Born in Bremen, Germany, Herzog enrolled in the Düsseldorf Art Academy at age 17. After receiving his degree, Herzog embarked on a series of “sketching trips” to various destinations in Europe. His love of landscape painting was inspired by a trip to Norway in 1855.

In the 1860s, Herzog moved to the United States and settled in West Philadelphia. When he wasn’t teaching art or exhibiting his work, Herzog traveled the country, capturing on canvas the vast and varied landscape such as, Sketching on Beaver’s Creek featured above. Over his 80+-year career (he lived to be 101!), Herzog produced more than 1,000 paintings and his résumé includes several famous patrons including Queen Victoria (1819-1901) and Grand Duke Alexander of Russia (1866-1933). If you’d like to view more of his sublime work, click on this Herman Herzog link, courtesy of the Schwarz Gallery.

I hope Sketching on Beaver’s Creek inspires you to safely indulge in some virtual or in-person forest bathing. I’ll be back next week with more Museum Quick Bites. Until then, take care 🙂

Forest by jplenio, Pixabay-100px Cover photo by jplenio, courtesy of Pixabay.


Artcyclopedia: Herman Herzog

Bum Jin Park, et. al. (2010), The Physiological Effects of Shinrin-yoku (Taking in the Forest Atmosphere or Forest Bathing): Evidence From Field Experiments in 24 Forests Across Japan

Grand Rapids Art Museum


Schwarz Gallery

Wikimedia Commons


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