John Frederick Kensett, an American artist, born in Cheshire, Conn., March 22, 1818, died in New York, Dec. 16, 1872. He studied engraving under his uncle Alfred Daggett of New-York, and for several years executed vignettes for bank notes, occasionally attempting painting as a recreation. In 1840 he visited England, and in the spring of 1845 exhibited in the royal academy, London, his first picture, a distant view of Windsor castle, the purchase of which by a prize holder of the London art union encouraged him to persevere in his new profession. He subsequently passed two winters in Rome, sending home occasionally pictures of Italian scenery, several of which became the property of the American art union. His "View on the Anio" and "Shrine," exhibited at the academy of design in New York in 1848, first brought him prominently before the public, and established his reputation. After an absence of about seven years he returned to America, and settled in New York. He produced many representations of American scenery under various aspects, those in which rocks, trees, or water are prominent features being among his most characteristic and successful works. The mountainous regions of New England and New York, the rivers and lakes of the middle states, and the seashore furnished him with frequent subjects.
Among his most popular works are his " View of Mt. Washington from North Conway" (1849), "Franconia Mountains" (1853), "October Day in the White Mountains" (1855), " Hudson River from Fort Putnam " (1856), "Falls of the Bashpish," "Sunset on the Coast" (1858), "Eagle Cliff, Manchester, Mass." (1859), " Sunset in the Adirondacks " (1860), and subsequently numerous views on the Genesee and Hudson rivers and Lake George, and several taken in the vicinity of Newport, R. I. In 1859 he was appointed a member of the national art commission having the direction of the ornamentation of the capi-tol at Washington, and the superintendence of the works of art deposited there. In 1848 he was elected an associate and in i849 a member of the national academy of design.