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    Description

    The Hon. Paul H. Buchanan, Jr. Collection

    SOREN EMIL CARLSEN (American, 1853-1932)

    Sailor's Wife, 1876
    Oil on canvas
    15 x 26 inches (38.1 x 66.0 cm)
    Signed and dated lower left: S Emile Carlsen '76


    Handwritten poem on an old paper label adhered to protective cardboard backing: The "Northern Star" / Sailed o'er the bar / Bound for the Baltic sea. / O, the morning gray / When she sailed away / Was a weary day for me.

    PROVENANCE:
    Purchased from Vose Galleries, Boston (label verso).

    Emil Carlsen grew up near the Baltic coast of Denmark, where the sea was a constant and powerful presence. Although he also distinguished himself as a painter of woodland landscapes and still lifes, it was his poetic depictions of the ocean and its shifting skies which earned him the greatest critical praise. Whether painting the Danish shoreline, the many faces of the Pacific in California, the sandy beaches of Cuba or the cranky coast of Maine, Carlsen always rendered his scenes of water and sky in a strong envelope of atmosphere. He achieved this, in part, by applying selectively a lush impasto (often containing a lot of medium) to broad passages he designed to catch the light. In such areas, which he worked with a brushy vigor, Carlsen produced rich textures that enliven his surfaces through contrast with matte zones painted more thinly. These contrasts create a mood with a distinct emotional charge which few American sea painters besides Winslow Homer ever achieved. In this work from Carlsen's early career, produced when the artist was just 23 years old, the brown foreground is rendered with this impasto device, which contrasts with brighter sand and more thinly painted water and sky in the distance. Later in his career, when he adopted a brighter palette in response to impressionist experiments, Carlsen employed this technique to create marvelous effects of shimmering iridescence.






    Condition Report*: Original canvas, wax lined, paint surface intact, a rich impasto in passages of foreground, evidence of light abrasion along the horizon line, varnished.  Under UV examination there are three tiny areas of strengthening visible in the foreground grasses and one-inch retouch just left of the signature.
    *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. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    10th-11th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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