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Allston, Washington

Washington Allston, an American painter, was born near Georgetown, South Carolina in 1779. He is best known for ushering in Romanticism in America with his beautiful landscape paintings. His paintings are drawn from poetry, novels, and Biblical texts, and show deep understanding of nature and civilization. His famous, unfinished painting, Belshazzar's Feast represents his Biblical knowledge as well as his "cyclic" historical beliefs; with fellow painter Thomas Cole, he believed that history was marked with the rise and fall of empires and kingdoms. This was a cycle of sorts; a cycle into which they claimed the United States would not fall. He studied in America at Harvard, in England at the Royal Academy, in France, and in Italy.

He was part of the Hudson River School, an elite group of landscape painters in the United States who emerged after America's Independence from Britain. This group contained legendary painters including Asher Durand, Thomas Cole, and Thomas Doughty.