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    Description

    Jasper Francis Cropsey (American, 1823-1900)
    Looking North on the Hudson (The Head Quarters of Washington or Washington's Headquarters), circa 1890
    Watercolor on paper
    16 x 26 inches (40.6 x 66.0 cm) (sight)
    Signed lower left: J.F. Cropsey
    Inscribed indistinctly along left edge verso: Lake George

    PROVENANCE:
    Newhouse Galleries, St. Louis, Missouri;
    Captain and Mrs. John Wickliffe Kitchell, Pana, Illinois;
    MacMurray College Collection, Jacksonville, Illinois, 1931 [as Looking North on the Hudson];
    Sotheby's, New York, December 1, 1999, lot 130 [as Looking North on the Hudson];
    Private collection, Illinois.

    EXHIBITED:
    National Academy of Design, New York, and elsewhere, "Jasper Cropsey's Watercolors," November 15, 1985-January 19, 1986 [as Looking North on the Hudson].

    LITERATURE:
    J.F. Cropsey to M. Alfred Newhouse, undated letter [circa 1897] [as The Head Quarters of Washington];
    Mrs. J. F. Cropsey to Mr. Newhouse, undated letter, 4 July [c. 1897] [as Washingtons Headquarters];
    W. B. Henderson, MacMurray College Collection of Works of J. F. Cropsey, Jacksonville, Illinois, n.d. [as Looking North on the Hudson];
    C. Rebora, Jasper Cropsey's Watercolors, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1985, pp. 60-61, illustrated [as Looking North on the Hudson];
    K. W. Maddox, "Jasper F. Cropsey," Arts Magazine, January 1986, p. 112 [as Looking North on the Hudson].

    According to Cropsey scholar, Dr. Kenneth W. Maddox: "Jasper F. Cropsey made two excursions in 1880 which can be documented. In July, he traveled with the 'Artists' Excursion' led by Edward Gay which included other members of the New York Artists' Fund Society, who sailed up the Hudson River to Albany, traveled by rail to Schenectady, and then by canal boat to Niagara Falls and back. And in September of the same year, Cropsey traveled up the Hudson as far as the Highlands where he made a number of drawings in the same sketchbook (Newington-Cropsey Foundation) which he used for the 'Artists' Excursion.' This painting carefully follows the drawing inscribed 'Looking North on / the Hudson-at New Burgh / Sept 7th 1880 / Washingtons / Headquarters.' The watercolor is undated, but the date of 1890 was given to it by MacMurray College. Curiously, on its back is the inscription 'Lake George.' An almost identical watercolor, Washington's Headquarters at Newburgh, 18 ½ x 27 inches, Newington-Cropsey Foundation (NCF 2575) is also undated.

    "Two letters (Newington-Cropsey Foundation) to M. Alfred Newhouse undoubtedly relate to this work. In one, the artist was replying to Mr. Newhouse's request regarding the dates of works which the artist had sent to the St. Louis dealer: 'I beg to send you this about the pictures. At this distance of time I cannot be positive about the date of the pictures. But they have been painted some 20 to 25 years ago. . . . The Head Quarters of Washington about 1870. . . . But I may be a little hazy about the dates, and I do not keep any particular record of my pictures[,] but I trust this will convey to you all the Information you want.' The artist's memory was undoubtedly faulty regarding this watercolor, as it is clearly based on his sketchbook drawing dated September 7, 1880.

    "The other letter to Newhouse was written by the artist's wife and dated only July 4th, but it was certainly written the same year and probably prior to the previous undated letter: 'As Mr. Cropsey is still indisposed-he wishes me to say that the Oil, and four Water Colors will be shipped [to] you today by Mr. Bengel who does our packing now. . . . you know how Mr. C feels when about to part with his dear old paintings especially his Autumn-on-Hudson [,] Richmond Hill[,] and Sybles [sic] Temple-which as you know Mr Cropsey always considered his best and still clings to Reminiscence of the past. Whilst Washingtons Headquarters and Forty Steps-were my favorites always. Please Mr Newhouse do your best for us. . . .'"

    We wish to thank Dr. Kenneth W. Maddox for his expertise and gracious assistance in cataloguing this watercolor, which will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's works being prepared by the Newington-Cropsey Foundation, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.


    Condition Report*: Sheet is secured to backing board with archival corners; sheet measures 18.125 x 28.875 inches; there appears to be pinholes along extreme edges of work in margins, three which have torn with tiny loss along left edge; small loss to tip of upper right corner; vestiges of old adhesive appear in margins, mostly along top and bottom edge and do not affect image; four pieces of archival tape along top edge verso; an approx. 1 inch vertical accretion between sailboats in water; light overall paper discoloration; framed under glass. Framed Dimensions 24.5 X 34.5 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, 2016
    7th Saturday
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