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    Description

    EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (American, 1857-1927)
    Children at the Shore
    Oil on canvas
    24 x 30 inches (61.0 x 76.2 cm)
    Signed lower left: E Potthast

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, SHERMAN, TEXAS

    PROVENANCE:
    Edward W. Hake, Cincinnati, Ohio and Gloucester, Massachusetts;
    Hazel Hake Phillips, Gloucester, Massachusetts;
    Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hake Phillips, Sherman, Texas.

    Beloved by audiences from the nineteenth century through the present for his vibrant, sunlit depictions of carefree beachgoers enjoying leisurely holidays on the coast, Edward Potthast is considered one of the most prominent of the American Impressionists. Born in Cincinnati, which was at the time a burgeoning art center and a hub for German immigrants including his own family, Potthast in 1892 relocated to New York and began spending his summers frequenting various seaside art colonies including Gloucester, Rockport and Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and Ogunquit and Monhegan Island in Maine. So captivated was he by the coast that, while living in Manhattan, he would regularly journey to the city's crowded beach resorts of Coney Island or Brighton Beach with his easel, panels, and paint box.

    Potthast began his artistic studies at the McMicken School of Design and at the Cincinnati Academy. The young artist made his first trip to Europe in 1881, where he traveled to Antwerp and then to Munich, whose Royal Academy had long been a draw for Cincinnati artists. Upon returning to his native city in 1885, Potthast became established as a lithographer and illustrator while resuming his art studies. His paintings of this period reflect the influence of the Munich School, steeped in the venerated tradition of Dutch Old Master painting.

    In 1886, Potthast again departed for Paris, where he became well acquainted with the light-filled, expressive canvasses being produced by both French and American expatriate Impressionists. It was at this time that the Impressionists' techniques and aesthetic began to dominate Potthast's work. The artist returned to Cincinnati with several luminous canvases, including Sunshine, (Cincinnati Art Museum), an airy, soft-hued composition of a girl in an outdoor setting, which he had exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1889. After moving to New York in 1892, Potthast embraced American leisure activity as his central subject, specializing in beach scenes and rocky harbor views painted in a high-keyed palette and bathed in warm summer light.

    Children at the Shore is a masterful example of Potthast's vivid Impressionist style and iconic seaside subject matter. In this scene, the artist captures the youthful thrill inherent in a child's novel experience of frolicking in the surf. Four children, two boys and two girls, including one who appears to be the eldest of the group and wears a brightly colored pink frock and bow, stand arrested on the shore, gazing with trepidation and wonder at their three young male comrades who bravely charge into the surf with uninhibited delight. This group of children exemplifies both the bold sense of adventure and the cautious intrigue and awe so universal in a child's experience of the ocean. Potthast's composition is rendered in jewel-like hues, energetic brushstrokes, textured impasto, and a cool, opalescent light reminiscent of late summer afternoons on the coast.

    The paintings of Edward Henry Potthast are represented in public collections across the United States, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Art Institute of Chicago; Cincinnati Art Museum; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.


    Condition Report*: Original canvas; light surface grime; may benefit from light cleaning; under raking light, appears to be faint stretcher crease along top edge; very minor in-painting in upper left and upper right corners, as well as along extreme right edge Framed Dimensions 32.5 X 38.5 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. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2012
    15th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,119

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