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    Description

    JOHN SEVERINUS CONWAY (American, 1852-1925)
    Mountain Landscape (probably Italian Alps)
    Oil on canvas mounted on masonite
    11-3/4 x 20 inches (29.8 x 50.8 cm)

    THE JEAN AND GRAHAM DEVOE WILLIFORD CHARITABLE TRUST

    PROVENANCE:
    Kennedy Galleries, New York (inv. no. 0014583) (label verso).

    The unusually powerful sculptural qualities of this landscape betray the fact that its author, John Severinus Conway, was a talented sculptor as well as painter. Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Conway trained initially with Conrad Diehl at the Art Institute of Chicago, but left that city when the great fire destroyed his studio as well as his prospects there. He then moved to Milwaukee where he found a great champion in the person of Lydia Ely.

    Largely at Ely's suggestion, John Conway left Milwaukee for Paris to study at the Academie Julien under Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre and at the École des Beaux Arts. He also made sketching tours throughout France and Italy, and under Aimee Millet of Paris expanded his studies to include sculpture. About 1883 he settled in Rome. In that year his portrait was painted by Robert William Vonnoh, a classmate from the Academie Julien who became a noted Impressionist landscape painter. That portrait of the handsome Conway (now in the Florence Griswold Museum) won acclaim in the Paris Salon of that year and made Vonnoh's reputation when it was shown in his hometown of Boston the next year. At Julian's he and Conway both had to complete a study or a full-length figural piece each week, an exercise that may have helped him portray his friend with such fluency. One Boston writer saw a peculiarly American quality in the direct gaze and self-possessed pose: "A democratic frankness that challenges our attention."


    Condition Report*: Very good condition (sight), not examined out of frame. Framed.
    *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
    May, 2012
    15th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 728

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