This is an unframed study in pencil by a noted figure in eastern American art, XANTHUS RUSSELL SMITH (1839-1929). The artist, at age 85, signed it with his distinctive "XS" monogram at lower left, and wrote "Painted in oil this size", and dated it Nov. 29- 1924. The sketchbook paper measures 6 5/8" by 9". It would be interesting to pair this with the oil version, in order to gain insight into the artist's artistic process. The work has survived in reasonable condition, with some light browning of the paper and a stubbed/folded lower right corner. The artist pressed hard into the paper in some places, especially in the Paul Cezanne-like almost cubist looking tree trunks at right. Note the church steeple, other structures, three arch stone bridge, and the four cows. Smith was born and died in Philadelphia, and today he is most associated with Pennsylvania and Maine (this work was acquired in southern Maine). The artist painted in the White Mountains, Catskills, Niagara region, and Italy, having spent some time studying as a youth at the Royal Academy in London. He also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His work has been widely exhibited at such prestigious galleries as Vose Gallery in Boston, and at major eastern museums. See the net for more on his long life and career. .
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