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    Description

    WILLIAM LAMB PICKNELL (American, 1854-1897)
    Annisquam
    Oil on canvas
    24 x 30 inches (61.0 x 76.2 cm)
    Signed lower right: Wm L. Picknell

    PROVENANCE:
    Arthur J. Phelan, Chevy Chase, MD;
    The Cooley Gallery, Old Lyme, Connecticut (label verso).

    Boston-bred landscape painter William Lamb Picknell had come of age as a painter during the period when the Hudson River School tradition had become decidedly old-fashioned. Rather than painting every leaf on every tree and describing every nuance of a vast light-filled vista, artists strove instead for hazy atmospheric effects both on the ground and in the sky. The "fuzzy" trend became initially in France but then quickly spread throughout Europe and the United States. Aware of this development, Picknell sought training abroad, initially under the American George Inness in Rome in 1873, but shift the following year to study in Paris Jean-Leon Gerome at the École des Beaux-Arts who favored a style of academic painting antithetical to the newer trends--painting with little atmosphere, jewel-like color, and a slick porcelain finish. He then rounded off his formal training with the Anglo-American from Philadelphia, Robert Wylie, at Pont-Aven in Brittany, a spot Wylie had colonized twenty years before Gauguin made it famous. Having trained with Gerome himself, Wylie well understood the shackles of the academic manner, and was able to help Picknell develop a style of painting that gave a nod to Gerome without sacrificing the expressive brushwork and surface effects that were most prized in contemporary painting. Wylie's tutelage was invaluable to Picknell, who was temperamentally inclined to paint in a tightly constructed, almost literal manner.

    After spending many years living abroad as an expatriate painter, Picknell returned to his native Massachusetts in 1882, established a studio in New York, and for the greater part of the 1880s painted along the rocky coast of Annisquam, not far from Gloucester, and also traveled widely from Florida to California in search of landscape subjects. Curiously, while he was dissociated from the American style of landscape painting in certain ways, Picknell nonetheless acted upon an intense desire to record his native landscape. In the end, he did what so many of the Hudson River School painters had done before him--but with a brighter palette: he roamed all over America, painting its majesty as well as its very ordinary geography.


    Condition Report*: Very fine and barely perceptible craquelure. Fully stable pigment. Wax Relined.  UV examination reveals 1-inch-long line of inpaint in sky, several pinpoints of inpaint left of center in sky, one pencil-eraser sized dot above signature, and a few marks of inpaint in right bank of trees. Apart from this, the painting is in untouched condition. Framed Dimensions 32.5 X 39.5 Inches
    *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: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,776

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