Passing Clouds is an oil on canvas painting completed by American artist George Inness in 1876. It has since become recognized as one of the most influential American artworks of the nineteenth century. Inness’s work was heavily influenced by the Hudson River School, the Barbizon School, and Emanuel Swedenborg’s theology.
The painting depicts a landscape scene with clouds hovering over a natural setting. Its title may refer to the cyclical view of history and alternating feast and famine. This piece exemplifies why Inness was so renowned: he placed individual emotion and response at the forefront of his art.
Passing Clouds is occasionally on view at the George Inness Gallery in Montclair Art Museum. Critics have noted that this artwork represents an important moment in art history when new forms of expression and sensation began to emerge. Through his innovative style, Inness paved the way for new generations of artists looking to explore similar themes in their work.