Offered for sale is an exciting American Outsider Folk Art painting from the school of Ellis Ruley (1882 – 1959) depicting jungle animals in their habitat. The painting is oil on composite board. All of Ruley’s paintings contained allegorical symbolism but it would take Freud a lifetime to figure out what was going through this fascinating character’s head during the creation of his masterpieces. He was a complex human being living in a time that had no tolerance either for his lifestyle, his art, or his color. Many of his paintings were rooted in Biblical stories, but there were other works that came from his interpretation of the modern world as he saw it. Ruley sought to escape the controversies and drudgery of his life through art. He loved nothing more than to go out in his yard with simple paints from the hardware store and any canvas he could salvage to record the images of his fertile imagination. That his life ended sadly and abruptly is no surprise, and there is still much controversy surrounding his death.
This painting, possibly done by a student, a follower, or even by the artist himself, is labeled on the reverse. However, we are not calling it an Ellis Ruley as we have not had it officially authenticated. It colorfully showcases the “Kings of the Jungle” and possibly has some symbolism to the Garden of Eden because of the snake rapped around the apple tree. What we are certain of is that it is a fantastic piece of Folk Art.
The painting is housed in a complimentary faux bamboo frame and is in excellent condition with minor chipping to the corner of the board as shown, circa early to mid 20th century. Included with this purchase is a copy of the book "Discovering Ellis Ruley" by Robert Smith.
Size of Frame: 45” Width; 35” Height
Size of Image: 42” Width; 32” Height.
School of Ellis Ruley American Outsider Folk Art Oil Painting
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