DescriptionFREDERICK BALLARD WILLIAMS (American 1871-1956)
Landscape of Montclair, New Jersey 1937
Oil on board
12.5in. x 15.5in.
Signed lower left
Inscribed on verso label: "Landscape" Montclair NJ Oct 5, 1937
A painter of romantic and decorative canvases, Frederick Ballard Williams began his career by painting landscapes with women, usually depicted in 18th century gowns in the spirit of French Rococo painting of Antoine Watteau.
Williams was born in Brooklyn, New York, and began his training with night art classes in New York City at Cooper Union. He also studied at the New York Institute of Artists and Artisans and with John Ward Stimson, a romantic painter. Williams later attended the National Academy of Design where he first exhibited in 1901. He then traveled to England and France where he was inspired by the Barbizon aesthetic of placing figures at work in a landscape.
Williams lived most of his life in Glen Ridge, New Jersey where he found many of the subjects for his paintings. However, in the 1930s, he began omitting the idyllic figures, and painting pure landscapes. He also painted in the mountains of western North Carolina and also went to San Francisco for extended periods in 1896 and 1901. In 1910, he was part of the famous Santa Fe Railway and American Lithographic Company sponsored trip to bring well-known painters to the Grand Canyon. The group included Edward Potthast, Elliott Daingerfield, Thomas Moran, and De Witt Parshall. The artists were given lodging at El Tovar Hotel and studios at the South Rim of the Canyon in exchange for paintings for the railroad and for exhibition throughout the East.
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