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LOUIS MCCLELLAN POTTER (1873-1912) Orientalist watercolor of Tunisian subject by noted American artist
Watercolor on paper drawing, 10" by 7" inside the frame, 14 1/4" by 11" framed, the subject a young woman of Tunisia, the work signed at lower right, and dated there 1899 along with "Tunis". This is a finely executed work by a highly talented artist who unfortunately died at the young age of 38. Potter was born in Troy, New York, and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. By age 23, he was already in Paris, studying painting at the Ecole des Beaux Arts with Luc-Olivier Merson and sculpting with Jean Auguste Dampt. In 1899, the same year this watercolor was crafted, Potter's sculpture was exhibited at the Paris Salon. Shortly thereafter his fascination with and curiosity about foreign cultures, perhaps inspired by Gauguin's work, led him to French North Africa. In Tunisia, Potter found plentiful subject matter, and the Tunisian people took him to heart, recognizing his talent. He is said (on the fine website devoted to his work---google it) to have become immersed in Islamic culture. Potter's ethnographic interest grew further by 1905, as he turned to cultures closer to home, in Alaska, where he created works featuring the native peoples there. He became increasingly absorbed with mysticism, occultism, and other exotic characteristics of different cultures. When Potter died in Seattle in 1912, a brilliant talent was lost, though the next year, his work was shown posthumously at the famous 1913 Armory Show in New York alongside giants like Brancusi, Braque and Picasso. Today Potter is best known for his sculpture, but watercolors do appear from time to time on the market. See others on the website. SEE HUNDREDS OF OTHER WORKS OF ART NOW IN MY SHOP.
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