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    Description

    PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE TEXAS COLLECTOR

    GEORGE INNESS (American, 1825-1894)

    Landscape Study, circa 1876
    Oil on panel
    9 x 13 inches (22.9 x 33.0 cm)
    Signed lower right: G. Inness

    PROVENANCE:
    Department of Arts and Sciences, IBM Corporation, New York;
    Private Collection, Washington, D.C.;
    Kennedy Galleries, Inc., New York (label verso).

    EXHIBITED:
    Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, May 31, 1945, cat. no. 8;
    Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island;
    The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California (label verso);
    Oakland Museum of California, "George Inness' Landscapes: His Signature Years", 1979.

    LITERATURE
    L. Ireland, The Works of George Inness: An Illustrated Catalogue Raisonné, Austin, 1965, p. 193, no. 779, illus.
    Kennedy Quarterly, October 1969, p. 93, no. 2.
    M. Quick, George Inness: A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, New Brunswick, 2007, p. 544.

    In George Inness: A Catalogue Raisonné, the art historian Michael Quick identifies this jewel-like work as a preliminary study for Landscape with Sheep, circa 1877, based on the artist's experiences in Etretat, Normandy, during the summer of 1874.¹ Both Landscape Study and the related Landscape with Sheep depict a turbulent afternoon storm as it passes over the French countryside: a deep meadow anchors a poplar grove shielding a small house and, in the distance, yellow fields dotted with other rural buildings. Inness replaced the grazing cattle of Landscape Study with sheep and a shepherd in the later painting, but otherwise the works share nearly identical compositions, vivid coloration, and gestural brushwork. After his return to the United States in 1875, Inness often revisited his field sketches from Italy and France, and it is likely that he executed both Landscape Study and Landscape with Sheep in his New York studio.

    Despite its small size, Landscape Study exemplifies Inness's radical innovation during the 1870s, as he shifted from a Hudson River School literalism toward a more poetic realism. After his tenure in Italy from 1870 to early 1874, Inness spent one year in Paris, summering in nearby Normandy. His French-period paintings are characterized by a greater emphasis on geometric structure, in particular, silhouetted foreground masses, such as meadows or rivers. Landscape Study, for example, features horizontal bands of sky and ground, intersected by a triangular arrangement of poplar trees. While in France, Inness also adopted a more expressive brushstroke and a more vibrant palette, stylistic changes he would continue to develop in his next series, the landscapes of Conway, New Hampshire. With its energized brushwork and flattened passages of cobalt, saffron, and emerald, Landscape Study presages modernism.

    ¹M. Quick, George Inness: A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, New Brunswick, 2007, p. 544.





    Condition Report*: Excellent condition:  faint craquelure in upper right clouds and in grass field, lower 1/3 of board; slight frame abrasion along right edge of board; scattered inpainting throughout sky region; 1/2" square region of inpainting in grass field, lower right quadrant. 
    *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: 4,044

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