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Auction Name: 2021 October 23 Texas Art Signature® Auction

Lot Number: 75035

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Julian Onderdonk (American, 1882-1922)
In the Mesquite Brush, South West Texas, 1915
Oil on canvas laid on board
12 x 18 inches (30.5 x 45.7 cm)
Signed lower left: J. Onderdonk
Signed, dated, and titled on the reverse of canvas (according to photograph attached to the reverse): In the Mesquite Brush / S. W. Texas . Julian Onderdonk - 1915

The artist;
Private Collection, San Antonio;
By descent from the above to the present owner;
Private collection.

McNeels Jewelry Co., San Antonio, "Posthumous Exhibition" November 1922.

Born and raised in San Antonio, Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922) spent his childhood exploring the South Texas hill country. His father, a painter, also instilled in his son an enthusiasm for sketching and drawing at a young age, and fortunately for Onderdonk, a wealth of possibilities were hiding in the vast landscape of his own backyard.

At the turn of the century when he was 19 years old, Julian left Texas to study at the Art Students League under prominent artists Kenyon Cox, Frank DuMond and Robert Henri. He was also mentored by renowned American Impressionist William Merritt Chase, with whom his father also trained for a period of time. It was under this tutelage that Onderdonk's style and vision as a young artist was truly cultivated.

In 1902, Julian decided to settle down in New York City to pursue a career as a plein air artist, where he met his wife and soon after became a father. While his personal life flourished, his professional aspirations had not yet come to fruition. Accordingly, Onderdonk and his new family returned to San Antonio, to his natural element where the root of his inspiration was first cultivated, in 1909. Upon his return, Onderdonk stayed true to his heritage and maintained the tonalist style imparted by his father, but also continued to apply the principles and Impressionist approach taught by his mentor, William Chase.

Best-known for his powerful interpretations of the Southwest landscape-with scores of bluebonnet fields, cactus and life oaks with Spanish moss, morning mist lifting into vibrant Texas skies and colors of the changing seasons-Julian Onderdonk's work first became recognized locally and then, as his reputation as the "Bluebonnet Painter" grew, captivated a wider audience that spread across the country. His last paintings, Dawn in the Hills and Autumn Tapestry, among his most impressive, were on the way to New York for the annual exhibition of the National Academy of Design for 1922 at the time of his death.

In the Mesquite Brush, South West Texas, 1915 was acquired by the current owner's family at the first posthumous exhibition of Julian Onderdonk's work which was held at McNeel's Jewelry Company, San Antonio in November 1922, shortly after the artist's death. It is a fairly rare to see an example of his work from far Southwest Texas, because he did most of his painting in the Hill Country.

Condition Report*: Wax-lined canvas laid on board, preventing inspection of the reverse of the original canvas. Under UV light, there does appear to be inpaint including: a 3 1/2 inch fine vertical line of inpaint in the upper left quadrant; 2 x 1 inch area of scattered dots and dashes of inpaint in the upper right quadrant with a few larger (approx three, 1/2 inch areas each) along the upper right corner edges. Scattered craquelure throughout.
Framed Dimensions 16.25 X 22.25 Inches
*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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