Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE TEXAS COLLECTOR

    DAVID JOHNSON (American, 1827-1908)

    Near Shelburne, Vermont, 1865
    Oil on canvas
    30 x 26 inches (76.2 x 66.0 cm)
    Initialed and dated lower left: DJ / 1865
    Label verso: The following inscription appears on the back of the original canvas: Scenery at Shelburn, Vt. / David Johnson, 1865

    PROVENANCE:
    M. Knoedler and Company, Inc., New York

    LITERATURE:
    J. Baur, The American Art Journal, Autumn 1980, fig. 30.
    G. Owens, Nature Transcribed: The Landscapes and Still Lifes of David Johnson, Hanover, 1988, p. 83.

    As part of the second generation of Hudson River School painters, David Johnson derived lifelong inspiration from the mountains of upstate New York and New England. His exquisite View near Shelburne, Vermont is a true masterwork from the mid-1860s, when he was traveling often between northeastern Vermont and the Androscoggin River region of New Hampshire and Maine. Johnson inscribed the back of this canvas with the notation "Scenery at Shelburn, Vt.," and it is possible that the vista depicts a sliver of the LaPlatte River, which flows into Lake Champlain's Bay of Shelburne, with the Green Mountains -- in actuality, far to the east of Shelburne -- added for dramatic effect. Curiously, View near Shelburne more closely resembles Johnson's contemporaneous paintings of the Androscoggin River, which snakes from New Hampshire into Maine at the foot of the White Mountains. For example, Study near Lancaster, New Hampshire (1867), Androscoggin River (1869), and On the Androscoggin near Shelburne (1870) feature the same river topography and rock formations as View near Shelburne, Vermont: multi-peaked mountains rise steeply from dusty floodplains dotted with trees. Perhaps, then, "Shelburn, Vt." is actually Shelburne, New Hampshire, whose forested glens became a popular site for painters, photographers, and recreationists.

    View near Shelburne is noteworthy among Johnson's paintings for its size, vertical orientation, and intricate composition. Johnson typically painted on a smaller scale, yet even his large canvases emphasize nature's peacefulness and accessibility, rather than its sublime power. Known for his meticulous renderings of rocks and trees, he here applies his naturalist's eye to the forest pocket in the foreground: ancient boulders, mossy floor, lush thicket, and sentinel-like elms secure a comfortable and private haven for an amorous couple. Johnson provides visual interest by dividing the composition along a diagonal line, contrasting the intimate, shadowed forest with an expansive, light-filled mountain view. By including the human element, he invites the viewer into the scene -- into a full communion with nature. In content, View near Shelburne resembles his Young Elms from 1863, featuring another picnicking couple, yet View near Shelburne stands apart in its detailed brushwork and fine gradations of light.





    Condition Report*: Excellent condition:  overall craquelure, commensurate with age; areas of in-painting:  2 x 1/2" region, plus 1/8" dot, in sky above trees in upper left quadrant, one small dot in upper right quadrant, scattered pin-point flecks in sky between tree and mountain tops, and line along lower edge of canvas; canvas relined.
    *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
    June, 2009
    10th-11th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,416

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 2 days left to consign to the 2019 October 1 Design Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Ms. Sullivan proved knowledgeable, diligent and efficient in selecting items viable for the American Indian & Pre-Columbian Art Auction
    Margie Royle,
    Lakewood, NJ
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,441,296
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $6,712,638
    2014 November 14 American Indian Art , Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Signature Auction
    2014 Nov 14 American Indian Art, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction
    REALIZED $441,524
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $5,683,719
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    REALIZED $439,980
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $624,835
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    REALIZED $824,108
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,089,341
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    REALIZED $1,725,292
    2019 April 23 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 April 23 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $2,477,033