An American painter whose professions also included that of a lawyer and an architect, James Augustus Suydam is regarded as one of the foremost members of the Hudson River School of landscape painters.
Suydam was already on his way to a successful career as a business man when he began to make a serious study of the art of painting under Minor C. Kellogg. By 1858, he had opened his own studio in New York City. By 1856, he had been given an honorary professional membership in the National Academy of Design, becoming a full member in 1861.
James Augustus Suydam was an extremely educated man and possessed of both a high level of scientific knowledge and a strong spirituality. His paintings are regarded as reflections of this, always portraying nature as superior to the creations of humanity. He is also considered a Luminisim painter, a style of painting which emphasizes a diffuse lighting that comes from above the landscape and which is made more subtle by a very sensitive and smooth execution of brush stroke techniques.
Though he was an artist of both accomplishment and great potential, Suydam died at the young age of 46, quite unexpectedly, in North Conway.