This tonalist landscape or field sketch, probably of the North Conway area in New Hampshire, was done by American artist George Inness (1825-1894). Inness was born near Newburgh, New York, and started as a map engraver, which he gave up to pursue painting, exhibiting in the National Academy, and eventually traveling to France, which heavily influenced his work. Upon returning to the United States, he moved to California to share a studio with William Keith, painting Yosemite and Monterey. Among the Americans at Barbizon, France, he was the leading painter of that movement of early plein-air landscape painters. Oil on paper laid down on board, signed lower right, his wife’s signature appears on verso, along with a Doyle auction label. Dimensions: 9 ¼” h x 13 ⅛” w, actual; 14 ½” h x 18 ¼” w, framed.
Provenance: Mrs. Elizabeth Inness, wife of the artist Rufus T. Bush, Brooklyn, NY Wendell T. Bush and Mary Louise Bush, New York, by inheritance Anna Plummer Hoagland (Mrs. Hudson Hoagland), Southborough, MA, by gift from her adopted father, Wendell T. Bush Hudson Hoagland, Southborough, MA, by inheritance Joan Hoagland Humphrey, Northport, NY By descent to the current owner, 1984
Condition: There is a retouched 4 inch scratch the runs diagonally in the bottom half of the center of the work. A few retouches are present in the upper left and upper right corners and along the edges of the work. There are some minor losses at the corners and along the lower half of the right edge that are covered by the rabbet.
Bears signature G. Inness (lr) In a letter dated February 14, 2018, Dr. Michael Quick writes, "Your painting, which I shall title A Valley Within Mountains,... bears the signature added by the Inness estate.... The landscape has the appearance of a field sketch, painted on the spot, recording the shape of the valley and the facing ridge and mountain ranges. It was painted rapidly and with great skill and assurance over a tan underpainting, which the artist in numerous places has allowed to stand as a middle value. The terrain corresponds most closely with that of North Conway, New Hampshire, where Inness painted during the summer of 1875. However, no finished work has come to light that shares this vantage point." We extend sincere thanks to Dr. Quick for his kind assistance in authenticating the present work.
George Inness Tonalist Landscape Oil Painting, White Mountain Field Sketch circa 1875
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