“FINE ART” : BEYOND FASHION
"These days", many tell me that art styles have changed : Manet is "out", Warhol is "in";
and that the classics, old masters, and impressionism are currently "out of fashion".
However, I just cannot agree.
"Fine art" at some levels is not all about fashion -
it is about a deep response to nature (internal or external) or an event,
possessing a mysterious quality that no one seems to be able to accurately articulate.
No matter the medium, it has a superb quality of execution, depth of expressiveness, richness of content,
in painting arresting brushwork and color, and flawless composition -
all that by intent, not by accident.
It has the power to make you stand riveted for a moment, transported in time, mood and thought.
The best is universal and timeless - spanning the changing economies, politics and trends.
In the opinion of now deceased Time-Life art critic Robert Hughes, contemporary art very well "expresses the times".
"Fine Art"? : It was Hughes' belief that
it takes 100 years before we can know what may actually be termed "Fine Art".
Personally, I enjoy something of all periods and media - just far too many to relate.
Choices for every individual are always as personal as your best friend anyway!
I am extremely drawn to the early Dutch masters -
"life" showing through in the faces of their subjects,
usually emerging mysteriously from a 70% dark canvas or panel.
Below is a small portrait from my personal collection :
The late 19th / early 20th century Impressionist period is another favorite :
the works of Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla
(if you do not know his work, I strongly recommend a visit to the Museo Sorolla online);
and late19th / early 20th century American Impressionism.
The latter has an interesting compilation of input,
and perhaps why I have chosen the period to offer through this gallery.
Many Americans - already well trained in this country - chose further study abroad - in Munich, Paris,
and some fortunate individuals with Sorolla in Spain.
What they brought back was an added expertise in draftsmanship (to perfection - as automatic as driving a car), excellence in
composition, and from France, plein air lighting, the breaking up of color, and short energetic brushstrokes - often curved.
When these painters returned to America, a particular "American spirit" emerged in their works -
in part by including strong contrasting blacks in the palette -
so appropriate to the new industrial age and the energy of this country at the time.
For me personally, American Impressionists' works often exceed the excitement to the eye of the softer French Impressionist works.
These painters did for America what Sorolla did for Spain.
We take great
pleasure in offering for sale the following recently acquired early
American impressionist works
- each offering
addictive viewing in its own way
- each transcending time
and the senses .
Each image is linked to
an accompanying detail page.
We take great pleasure in offering for sale the following recently acquired early American impressionist works
- each offering addictive viewing in its own way
- each transcending time and the senses .
Each image is linked to an accompanying detail page.
Oil on Canvas / Signed H. B. Jones, Lower Left
Housed in a Fine 22K Custom Reproduction Carved Frame
Hugh Bolton Jones remains on of my favorite painters.
Jones is often classified with the Hudson River School of painters.
However his works – this painting in particular – have a wonderful luminescence of color that goes beyond
most of the works of the school, moving into the higher key and clearer hue of the Impressionists,
yet retaining the exactness of the scene he depicted, sometimes with single hair brushes.
His ability to depict dead branches and foliage with integrity, yet beauty, has continually
fascinated me. They become more like lace.
In looking at such early autumn or early spring scenes, I often see Jones' work in my head.
"Final Touches" , December 25, 1925,
Pencil on Paper
Pencil signed l/c : 'Robert Henri' / Dated Lower Left : "Dec 25, 1925"
Numbered twice verso : F . 2 . F-05.61
Most of us are well familiar with Robert Henri - one of America’s most important painters.
He was a founder of the New York group of painters - "The Eight" - later known as “The Ashcan School”.
He was a highly influential teacher at New York’s Art Student’s League, and the New York School of Art.
Henri's merits, museums and literature are far too vast to attempt in a few words.
His collection of lectures, published as The Art Spirit (1923), greatly influenced the course of American art.
Henri encouraged many students toward independence and personal expression, and
toward translating their reactions to subject matter and their feelings directly into their paintings.
His drawings are always particularly expressive - with a "searching" linear energy.
But when I first saw this drawing, I was also reminded of Berthe Morisot's portrait of Julie Manet
with a cat ("Fillette au Chat" ) - the shape and manner of the face and hair of the central figure,
and the dark of the bodice, almost echoing the the cat (in reverse). The resemblance is possibly coincidental -
and just possibly not, as he would have been well familiar with Morisot's portrait
(shown on the detail page).
(NY / MA) 1890-2002
"Sunny Path, Central Park", 1917
Oil on Board
Provenance : Grand Central Art Galleries, NYC, 1988, with exhibition label verso
Boldly painted in the directional impasto manner, this small figurative image with extraordinary brushwork
depicts life in Central Park in the early 20th century.
The strength of the work is exactly what Ms. Bernstein was so well known for :
"rapid, fluid brushwork, innovative color play, and fresh approach";
"plein-air landscape painting with startling color contrasts and bright accents of light".
In 1910, Ms. Bernstein he became a member of the Ashcan School (mentioned above in the Henri listing).
It is said that her idol as a painter was indeed one of its founders, Robert Henri.
Although she never studied directly under him, I believe his influence to be visible is this work :
the palette, the composition, and the fully loaded energetic brushstrokes,
that depict entire figures in gesture with only a few strokes of the brush.
"White Boat on the Hudson River" (West Point, NY)
Oil on Canvas / Housed in a Custom American Impressionist style frame with liner
Arthur Clifton Goodwin is best known as a painter of Boston street scenes and its waterfront, painted en plein air.
The well known painter Childe Hassam is quoted as saying that Goodwin was "the greatest painter in Boston".
Although Goodwin was intrigued by the Impressionist concentration on light, he never ascribed to any particular style -
"White Boat" being an example of that independence.
This is a striking and powerful work - quite different from many of the softer pastels for which he is so well known.
It is boldly executed in an impasto manner - almost contemporary in feel -
the paint application, with energetic impasto directional strokes and strong colors.
Although the painting does not bear the title of West Point, a painting recently sold in undoubtedly
same setting with similar boats was entitled "Landscape of West Point" .
"At The Opera"
Oil on Canvas / From the Estate of the Artist, with Artist's Stamp Verso
What can I say? What a delightful painting! Pure recreation for the eye!
Upon first viewing, I actually thought I was looking at a brothel -
the ladies were just a little too underdressed for the c1915-20 time period.
But a closer inspection quickly revealed a theatrical performance - likely a New York opera or operetta.
The stretchers have no inscriptions; however, Bryant painted a number of “themed” works - ballets, balls, and such.
So we took the privilege of naming it as Bryant had named similar paintings.
The pointillist painted backdrop appears to represent a Mediterranean grotto interior - statues in the corner niches,
and portals onto a balcony before moon rising over the sea and mountains.
The interior scene seems to be a cabaret - the men in formal tails, some ladies rather scantily clad.
The work itself brings forth a smile, each time I look at it. It is not just the miraculous execution,
but the sense of humor and pure fantasy of the moment that just delights the senses - all of them.
If anyone out there can shed light on a likely performance -
the lady in the turquoise coat is obviously singing her heart out -
please do let us know.
Late 19th Century European Market Scene
In the Manner of American
Painters Working Abroad,
Watercolor & Pencil on Paper
In the Manner of American Painters Working Abroad, c1890
Watercolor & Pencil on Paper
For resale, I generally by-pass works when the artist is unknown.
But this was too beautifully painted to walk away from. So I bought it.
We have done our homework and come up with
very little of a definitive nature.
A number of experts agree that it is in the manner of the late 19th century Americans living
and working abroad.
There are elements
of the dress and
scene that have an Eastern European flavor.
A number of experts agree that it is in the manner of the late 19th century Americans living and working abroad.
There are elements of the dress and scene that have an Eastern European flavor.
The correct dating was ascertained through a NY costuming specialist.
However -- the "who" and
"where" are secondary to the expertise involved in the execution.
deft and sure, well painted wet into wet with dry accents.
It has flawless composition, correct
proportions, all in a figurative scene in not the easiest medium in
The condition is flawless - without fading
If you have anything to add, we would very
much like to hear from you.
The painting remains unframed. We
will assist with a frame to suit your style and budget.
The hand deft and sure, well painted wet into wet with dry accents.
It has flawless composition, correct proportions, all in a figurative scene in not the easiest medium in the world.
The condition is flawless - without fading or tearing.
If you have anything to add, we would very much like to hear from you.
The painting remains unframed. We will assist with a frame to suit your style and budget.