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    Description

    WALTER SHIRLAW (American, 1838-1909)
    By the Fire, 1876
    Oil on board
    18-1/2 x 15-3/4 inches (47.0 x 40.0 cm)
    Signed and dated lower left: WShirlaw / 76

    THE JEAN AND GRAHAM DEVOE WILLIFORD CHARITABLE TRUST


    While Graham Williford's collection is particularly strong in American expatriate painting, and notably work produced by Americans who sought training in France, it also contains a substantial body of work by American artists who were trained at the Royal Academy in Munich. One of the early figures in the history of the Art Students League in New York--which became something of a bastion of German-trained faculty members in its early years--was Walter Shirlaw. Although born in Paisley, Scotland, he came to the United States at the age of three and fashioned an impressive artistic career for himself here. He became a painter who explored the American West as a special agent to survey the Indian tribes in Montana and Wyoming. He also earned much respect in the East for his teaching and multi-talented abilities as a painter of genre, portraits, murals and as an illustrator, engraver, and etcher. In 1870, he took his earnings from working as a bank note engraver in Chicago and went to Munich until 1877, mastering the Munich style of which he was an early proponent in America. The present work of two men by the fire, with its low-keyed, dark palette, combined with bold, virtuoso brushwork and realist subject matter was one of Shirlaw's Munich-period efforts. Indeed, he painted it the same year he produced one of his most important pictures, Sheep Shearing in the Bavarian Highlands, which he exhibited at the National Academy upon his return to America in 1877; in 1878, it won an Honorable Mention in Paris.





    Condition Report*: Under UV examination no signs of restoration on top of older varnish. Some minor scuffs and accretions, and craquelure commensurate with age. Framed Dimensions 23.5 X 20.75 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, 2013
    11th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,103

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