Jervis McEntee Diaries

Monday October 30, 1882

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, October 30, 1882, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Monday, Oct 30, 1882 I do not remember a more exquisite day. A mellow, golden tone over all the landscape glorifying the commonest things. I went out directly after breakfast, over O'Reillys farm and through the Wiltwyck cemetery to see the progress on the West Shore rail road. The embankment across Jacobs valley was nearly done and ready for a single track. I visited the site of the new depot in which they are at work and returning followed the work clear down to the tunnel and the high bridge at the foundations of which they are at work having nearly completed the pier from which it starts on the south side of the creek. I came home along the cemetery and across the common. It seems to me I never before saw such richness and beauty of color and as I looked at the landscape I had a feeling of melancholy and despair that I could never render its beauty and a sense of the vanity of trying to paint it. I cant paint it from nature and sometimes I question the use of trying. Often it seems to me better to go and look at it and to get the strong impression of beauty I did today. Still tomorrow if the day prove fine I think I will take my box out and try a beautiful bit I saw today. After dinner my mother, Mrs. Davis, Sara and I went for a ride for I could not bear to shut myself in my studio as I see by the Tribune many of the artists are doing. We drove to the South Rondout ferry but the chain of the ferry boat had caught in a raft of timber and we could not cross. They were preparing to land some of the iron for the high bridge. We drove to Sleights ferry, crossed and took the road to Ames' then over to the river and home reaching here at dusk. This day has made a strong impression upon me. The view from the porch this morning was very beautiful. "Gertrudes tree" the hickory on the left is a mass of superb rich yellow and the lovely soft greys of the scene beyond it were most exquisite. I received a letter from Mrs. Hewitt from Milwaukee this morning enclosing draft for $600 for my picture "Autumn in Vermont" for which I sent her a receipt and sent the draft to the Bank of the Metropolis to my credit. A letter came from Lucy. We hear nothing from Maurice and I have wondered many times this lovely day where he is and how he is spending it. Wrote Mrs. Hewitt.

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