DescriptionEDWARD BRIGHT BRUCE (American, 1879-1943)
Landscape of Provence, circa 1929
Oil on canvas on cradled panel
21 x 31-1/2 inches (53.3 x 80.0 cm)
Signed lower right: Edward Bruce
Titled and signed by artist on label on verso of frame
THE JEAN AND GRAHAM DEVOE WILLIFORD CHARITABLE TRUST
The Corcoran Gallery of Arts, Washington, D.C., "Twelfth Exhibition of Contemporary American Oil Paintings," 1930-31, (lent by Reinhardt Galleries, New York) (label verso).
The painting retains its original frame.
Edward Bruce was a successful lawyer and businessman before pursuing a career in art. Born in Dover Plains, New York, he began painting landscapes at age 14 but did not pursue that talent until after he had gotten a law degree from Columbia Law School in 1904, practiced law in New York and Manila, and then went into foreign trade in the Far East. He also became president of the Pacific Development Corporation of California. In his 30s he went to Italy for six years of art study with the American painter Maurice Sterne, and upon his return to the United States in 1929, he was nationally recognized for his paintings.
In 1929, he and his wife settled in California, living in Carmel, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara. He was active there until 1933 when he returned to the East to became an organizer in Washington DC of the Public Works of Art Project under the New Deal. The following year he was tapped to direct a longer-lived mural program administered by the Treasury Department. Bruce was also a collector of Chinese paintings and sculpture, and his collection forms a prestigious part of the Fogg Art Museum. The present work depicting the landscape of Provence, which Cezanne had memorialized in many canvases a generation earlier, was probably painted toward the end of Bruce's study with Sterne in Europe, around 1929.
Surface soil commensurate with age. Under UV examination very clean. No evidence of restoration. Painting in its original frame with exhibition labels verso. Framed Dimensions 27.5 X 38 Inches
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