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    Edgar Alwin Payne (American, 1883-1947)
    The Pack Train, Sierra Grande
    Oil on canvas
    31-1/2 x 39-1/2 inches (80.0 x 100.3 cm)
    Signed lower right: Edgar Payne


    Kennedy Galleries Inc., New York;
    Mr. and Mrs. Max Dreyfus, Bronxville, New York;
    David L. Ballard, Dreyfus family chauffeur, gift from the above;
    By descent to the present owner.

    Born in Washburn, Missouri, Edgar Payne is widely considered one of the foremost California plein-air landscape painters, best known for his majestic Sierra Nevada Mountain scenes of the early 20th century. Payne left home at age fourteen because his father objected to his son's dedication to an art career. Payne subsequently earned money painting houses, stage sets and murals, while traveling through the Ozarks, Texas, Mexico and Chicago. In Chicago, he was active with the Chicago Society of Artists and the Alumni Association of the Art Institute.

    Payne first visited California in 1909, and immediately found inspiration in scenes of Laguna Beach and San Francisco. During this time, he discovered the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains, where he returned continually throughout his career. The Sierra Nevada Mountains served as inspiration for Payne to forego his murals and stage sets, and focus exclusively on the majestic beauty of the California landscape.

    The Pack Train, Sierra Grande, featured in the motion picture produced and directed by Payne "Sierra Journey, " presents a vision of the American West that is both triumphant and grounded. Payne, commonly identified as the "Poet of the High Sierras," was captivated by the shadowy contrasts, brilliant light, and everchanging mood of the Sierras. Like most of Payne's large-scale paintings, The Pack Train, Sierra Grande was likely initiated as a sketch and finalized in the studio. Here we see the snowcapped mountains of the Sierra Grande dominating the composition while three riders and their pack horses navigate the rugged terrain of the mountain valley. Payne rarely incorporated figures in his California paintings as this was something that he did more often with his Southwestern work. On the occasion that Payne painted figures in his Sierra scenes, they were always shown to be in harmony with the landscape. Payne's addition of the riders to this monumental vista not only adds human interest to the composition, but conveys his belief that the journey was just as important as the destination. While the use of the automobile allowed Payne access to these grand vistas, he would often pack or hike into the remote locations allowing him to paint the most pristine of all locations.

    "The enjoyment of pictures aids relaxation and adds to the art of living, For pictures are consolers of loneliness, and a relief for the jaded mind, and windows to the imprisoned thought; they are books, histories, and sermons-which we can read without turning over the leaves. A thing of beauty is a joy forever," - Sir John Gilbert quoted in Payne "Sierra Journey."

    More information about Edgar Alwin Payne, also known as Payne, Edgar Alwin, Edgar Alwin Payne, Payne, Edgar.

    Condition Report*: Unlined canvas; slight yellowing to the varnish, most noticeable along the upper three inches of the canvas; extremely faint craquelure throughout; a few small abrasions with associated loss to the lower left quadrant; under UV inspection there appears to be no visible signs of fluorescing; however, in raking light, there are a few small spots of light blue paint that may be due to a test cleaning or possible touch up.
    *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. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2020
    1st Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,076

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