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    Description

    PROPERTY FROM A TENNESSEE PRIVATE COLLECTION

    THOMAS DOUGHTY (American, 1793-1856)
    Catskills, circa 1848
    Oil on canvas
    17-1/4 x 14 inches (43.8 x 35.6 cm)

    PROVENANCE:
    John J. Cunningham, New York;
    Nicholas Wyeth, New York;
    Frank E. Fowler, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee (label verso);
    Mr. Harry Levin, Chattanooga.

    Fresh to the market after nearly thirty-five years in a private collection, Thomas Doughty's Catskills combines those trademark elements which had earned him the title "Painter of Nature": autumnal palette, towering elm tree, cascading falls, hazy mountain view, and solitary figure.¹ A forerunner of the Hudson River School, the native Philadelphian Doughty first received critical acclaim during the mid 1830s when, from his base in Boston, he translated onto canvas the sketches from his trips to New Hampshire, New York, and Massachusetts. His Catskills landscapes from 1836-37, such as the commanding In the Catskills (Addison Gallery of American Art, Massachusetts) accentuate expansive horizontal vistas anchored by bold foreground woodlands and distant bodies of water. Doughty frequented the Catskills for inspiration, and he may have painted this intimate composition, Catskills, around 1848, upon his return to America from Paris. Here, a stone escarpment and a massive elm tree both enhance the awesomeness of the setting, as well as enclose a private world for the meditative figure. Indeed, Doughty was the master of the lone figure seen from behind - a surrogate for the viewer - which he popularized in his famous 1835 In Nature's Wonderland. In Catskills, Doughty formally and metaphorically compares man and nature: man is poetic in his solitariness, much like the single fallen tree trunk and the feathery elm between which he stands. Doughty also unites the two sides of the composition with natural structures - the bridge-like log and the outstretched elm branch - thereby intimating the connective power of nature.

    This lot is accompanied by a letter from Frank E. Fowler, dated May 28, 1976, referencing a letter of authenticity.

    ¹ From an 1848 Knickerbocker Magazine, cited in F. Goodyear, Thomas Doughty, 1793-1856: An American Pioneer in Landscape Painting, Philadelphia, 1973, p. 11.




    Condition Report*: Revarnished canvas with overall craquelure, commensurate with age; slight frame abrasion along upper edge; under UV examination, minor in-painting along top edge, 1" area and two tiny dots in upper branches of large tree, and small area in branches above top end of log; scattered in-painting throughout cracks of lower 2/3 of painting; otherwise good condition.
    *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
    November, 2010
    10th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,894

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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