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MFA Images: Towns & Cities

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  • Urban Landscapes: Oriental Cuisine

    1972
    Richard Estes (American, born in 1932)

    Description

    Provenance

    Credit Line Changed by V/C 3/7/1984.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Susan W. and Stephen D. Paine

    Copyright

    © Richard Estes, courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York

    Details

    Accession Number

    1975.722.5

    Medium or Technique

    Screenprint

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints, Portfolios

    More Info
  • Urban Landscapes: Seagram Building

    1972
    Richard Estes (American, born in 1932)

    Description

    Provenance

    Susan W. and Stephen D. Paine; by whom given to MFA December 22, 1972.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Susan W. and Stephen D. Paine

    Copyright

    © Richard Estes, courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 35.2 x 54 cm (13 7/8 x 21 1/4 in.) Sheet: 50.2 x 69.9 cm (19 3/4 x 27 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1975.722.6

    Medium or Technique

    Color screenprint

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints, Portfolios

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  • Urban Landscapes: Danbury Tile

    1972
    Richard Estes (American, born in 1932)

    Description

    Provenance

    Lent by Stephen D. Paine, December 22, 1972.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Susan W. and Stephen D. Paine

    Copyright

    © Richard Estes, courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York

    Details

    Dimensions

    52.07 x 71.12 cm (20 1/2 x 28 in.)

    Accession Number

    1975.722.7

    Medium or Technique

    Screenprint

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints, Portfolios

    More Info
  • Urban Landscapes: 560

    1972
    Richard Estes (American, born in 1932)

    Description

    Provenance

    Susan W. and Stephen D. Paine; by whom given to MFA December 22, 1972.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Susan W. and Stephen D. Paine

    Copyright

    © Richard Estes, courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York

    Details

    Accession Number

    1975.722.4

    Medium or Technique

    Screenprint

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints, Portfolios

    More Info
  • View of Beacon Street from Boston Common

    about 1923
    George Benjamin Luks (American, 1866–1933)

    Description

    By the late nineteenth century, concern arose that city children had insufficient access to the outdoors. The Playground Association of America, founded in 1906, was dedicated to promoting parks and recreation for urban children. George Luks’s “View of Beacon Street from Boston Common” illustrates this goal: two beautifully dressed young girls, accompanied by their governess, walk their dog in Boston Common, a large park in the center of the city. Although the common had been established in the seventeenth century for the communal pasturing of cows, by the nineteenth century it was an oasis of nature in the midst of the city.
    Best known for his gritty images of street life in New York’s poorer districts, Luks painted more prosperous people and neighborhoods when he visited Boston from 1922 to 1923. He was a guest of Margarett Sargent, a cousin of the artist John Singer Sargent. Wealthy and socially prominent, Margarett Sargent had studied drawing and painting with Luks in New York. Because she was his guide to Boston, Luks became familiar with the more affluent areas of the city, such as Beacon Street and the adjacent Boston Common. Behind the girls who are enjoying fresh air and exercise in the park, Luks painted the graceful bow fronts of the early nineteenth-century townhouses on Beacon Street, architectural features popular in Boston and almost unknown in New York.

    This text was adapted from Carol Troyen and Janet Comey, “Children in American Art” (Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 2007, in Japanese).

    Inscription

    Lower right: George Luks

    Provenance

    The artist; Mr. and Mrs. Quincy Adams Shaw McKean, Boston, about 1923; to MFA, 1960, purchase.

    Credit Line

    Emily L. Ainsley Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    92.07 x 77.15 cm (36 1/4 x 30 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    60.538

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Object accessories, Pedestals

    More Info
  • Suburban Street Scene

    Maurice Utrillo (French, 1883–1955)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Maurice. Utrillo. V.

    Provenance

    Probably by 1935, William Lowell Putnam (b. 1861 - d. 1924) or Mrs. (Elizabeth Lowell) Putnam (b. 1862), Boston; by descent to their daughter-in-law, Katharine Harte (Mrs. George) Putnam; 1980, gift of Mrs. George Putnam to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 12, 1980)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. George Putnam

    Copyright

    © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

    Details

    Dimensions

    50.5 x 65.1 cm (19 7/8 x 25 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1980.404

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Contemporary Art, Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Old Brooklyn Bridge

    about 1941
    Joseph Stella (American, 1877–1946 American)

    Description

    Completed in 1883 and hailed as an engineering wonder, the Brooklyn Bridge was recognized as a symbol of the modern city by artists and writers alike. Walt Whitman, John Marin, Hart Crane, Lewis Mumford, and Georgia O’Keeffe, for example, all paid homage to this structure. The bridge was viewed as more than an icon of the industrial age, though, for its design and construction fused the new technology of its innovative cable suspension with historical references to the past: the great Gothic arches of its towers linked the Old World and the New.
    Joseph Stella was twenty when he emigrated from Italy to New York. He began to study art in the United States, then traveled back to Europe in 1909, where he saw a variety of avant-garde styles. In Paris he encountered Futurism, a method of painting that attempted to express the intangible properties of motion and speed. Although he would experiment with a variety of approaches throughout his career, Stella pioneered Futurism in the United States upon his return to New York in 1912. He settled in Brooklyn in about 1919 and began to paint the bridge with this new vocabulary, using its flashing lights and rush of crisscrossed wires to indicate movement through space.

    The Brooklyn Bridge became a recurring theme in Stella’s work and he became identified with the subject. He made numerous small studies of the span and five major oils; Old Brooklyn Bridge was one of the last. His richly colored, fractured composition not only reflects his modernist approach, but also recalls the stained-glass windows of Gothic architecture. Stella himself alluded to this marriage of the new and the old, describing the bridge as a “shrine containing all the efforts of the new civilization of AMERICA.” [1]

    Notes
    1. Joseph Stella, The Brooklyn Bridge (A Page of My Life), privately printed under the title New York (1928), quoted in Barbara Haskell, Joseph Stella (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1994), 206.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower right: Joseph/Stella

    Provenance

    About 1941, Wright Ludington (1900-1992), Santa Barbara, California. 1980, with Richard L. Feigen & Co., New York; 1980, sold by Richard l. Feigen & Co. to Susan Morse Hilles; 1986, gift of Susan Morse Hilles to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 17, 1986)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Susan Morse Hilles in memory of Paul Hellmuth

    Details

    Dimensions

    193.67 x 173.35 cm (76 1/4 x 68 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1980.197

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    John Axelrod Gallery (Gallery 326)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • New York (The Liberty Tower from the Singer Building)

    1912
    Max Weber (American (born in Russia), 1881–1961)

    Description

    In the early twentieth century, New York’s dynamic skyline represented the essence of the new, modern world. Buildings rose to unprecedented heights made possible by new technologies. An economic boom spurred rapid growth and constant construction, which transformed old neighborhoods. Max Weber portrayed this rapidly changing city in this view looking down at the Liberty Tower, a slender thirty-three-story skyscraper, from the even taller Singer Building, one block away.

    Construction began on Liberty Tower in 1909, the year Weber returned to the United States after study in Europe. Architect Henry Ives Cobb disguised its steel structure with white terra-cotta neo-gothic ornamentation. Weber, however, emphasized the skyscraper’s slender shape rather than its decorative surface, simplifying it by eliminating both the decoration and the peaked copper roofs that lend the building its distinct appearance. What remains in Weber’s image is an attenuated tower with an irregular, broken façade–not gothic or geometric, but uneven, like a hand carved post. Using a small canvas–jjust over eighteen inches in height–Weber conveyed the powerful totemic presence of Liberty Tower set against the confusion of the city. Weber’s heavy, jagged outlining of the jumbled urban architecture suggests both the physical anatomy of the city and the frenetic activity of its people.

    Innovative in both subject and style, New York confirms Weber’s status as an original American painter and a conduit for avant-garde European art practices. The fractured forms of the city and the dramatically distorted perspective demonstrate Weber’s familiarity with the adventurous experiments of the Cubists. While vertigo-inducing views became a staple of Modernist photography (and popular films) in succeeding decades, such extreme perspectives were nearly unheard of in any medium in 1912. It was far more common for artists to portray skyscrapers from the ground towering above the viewer. Weber, with his friend photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn, was at the forefront of American modernists searching for novel representations of the urban landscape. Coburn’s photograph of Liberty Tower from the Singer Building [http://www.geh.org/fm/coburn/alcoburn/m196701440293_ful.html], made the same year as Weber’s painting, retained the Gothic detail of Cobb’s design and was cropped so the Tower fills the frame from top to bottom. Weber, instead, exaggerated the perspective to include more of the city. Manhattan becomes an energized space surrounding Liberty Tower, as if to illustrate Weber’s concept of a “fourth dimension.” In a 1910 Camera Work article Weber defined the fourth dimension as “the consciousness of a great and overwhelming sense of space-magnitude in all directions at one time.” “It is,” he wrote, “the space that envelopes a tree, a tower… It arouses imagination and stirs emotion. It is the immensity of all things.”

    Liberty Tower still stands at the intersection of Liberty and Nassau Streets; the Singer Building was demolished in 1968, to be replaced by One Liberty Plaza.

    Cody Hartley

    Inscription

    Lower right: MAX WEBER

    Provenance

    The artist; with The Downtown Gallery, New York; to Stephen and Sybil Stone; to Stephen and Sybil Stone Foundation; to MFA, 1971, gift of Stephen and Sybil Stone Foundation.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Stephen and Sybil Stone Foundation

    Copyright

    © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    Details

    Dimensions

    46.35 x 33.34 cm (18 1/4 x 13 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1971.705

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Chock Full O' Nuts, from the portfolio Urban Landscapes No. 2

    1979
    Richard Estes (American, born in 1932), Printer Domberger (German, 20th century)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed and numbered by the artist in pencil: "72/100" (lower left) and "RICHARD ESTES' (lower right).

    Provenance

    Paul Grand; by whom given to MFA January 21, 1986

    Credit Line

    Gift of Paul Grand

    Copyright

    © Richard Estes, courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 50.6 x 35.4 cm (19 15/16 x 13 15/16 in.) Sheet: 69.9 x 49.8 cm (271/2 x 19 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1986.968

    Medium or Technique

    Screenprint in color on white wove (Fabriano Cottone) paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints

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  • Hôtel de Cluny

    1839
    Thomas Shotter Boys (English, 1803–1874)

    Description

    Provenance

    Three bound vols. and a scrapbook. Transferred from the Library in 1913. His bequest to MFA was in 19__. PDP Register entry: Date acquired, No date.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of William Pitt Preble Longfellow

    Details

    Dimensions

    27.3 x 22.86 cm (10 3/4 x 9 in.)

    Accession Number

    M25042

    Medium or Technique

    Crayon lithograph printed in color

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints

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  • Urban Landscapes: Nass Linoleum

    1972
    Richard Estes (American, born in 1932)

    Description

    Provenance

    Credit Line Changed by V/C 3/7/1984.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Susan W. and Stephen D. Paine

    Copyright

    © Richard Estes, courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York

    Details

    Accession Number

    1975.722.3

    Medium or Technique

    Screenprint

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints, Portfolios

    More Info
  • Nocturne, Railway Crossing, Chicago

    1893
    Childe Hassam (American, 1859–1935)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed lower left in black watercolor: Childe Hassam. Inscribed verso in black ink: Nocturne / Railway Crossing Chicago / Childe Hassam.

    Provenance

    Babcock Galleries, New York, NY; purchased by MFA, November 14, 1962.

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 40.6 x 29.8cm (16 x 11 3/4 in.) Framed: 56.8 x 46.7 cm (22 3/8 x 18 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    62.986

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • In The Province (Roofs)

    1920
    Charles Demuth (American, 1883–1935)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed and dated lower left in graphite: C. Demuth 1920 / Lancaster Pa.

    Provenance

    Private collection; gift to MFA, December 11, 1968.

    Credit Line

    Anonymous gift in memory of Nathaniel Saltonstall

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet (board): 60.3 x 50.5cm (23 3/4 x 19 7/8in.) Framed: 77.8 x 66.7 cm (30 5/8 x 26 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    68.790

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor over graphite pencil on very thick cardboard

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Urban Landscapes: Ten Doors

    1972
    Richard Estes (American, born in 1932)

    Description

    Provenance

    Credit Line Changed by V/C 3/7/1984.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Susan W. and Stephen D. Paine

    Copyright

    © Richard Estes, courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York

    Details

    Accession Number

    1975.722.2

    Medium or Technique

    Screenprint

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints, Portfolios

    More Info
  • Urban Landscapes: Grant's

    1972
    Richard Estes (American, born in 1932)

    Description

    Provenance

    Credit Line Changed by V/C 3/7/1984.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Susan W. and Stephen D. Paine

    Copyright

    © Richard Estes, courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 52.1 x 71.1cm (20 1/2 x 28in.)

    Accession Number

    1975.722.1

    Medium or Technique

    Screenprint

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints, Portfolios

    More Info
  • New York Street Scene

    before 1910
    Ernest Lawson (American, 1873–1939)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: LAWSON

    Provenance

    The artist; Mr. Clark, Chicago; to Joseph A. Iervolino, Northfield, Illinois; to MFA, 1972, purchase.

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    81.6 x 60.96 cm (32 1/8 x 24 in.)

    Accession Number

    1972.919

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Street in Old Town

    19th century
    Achille Joyau (French, 1831–1873 French)

    Description

    Inscription

    A. JOYAU stamped in red at bottom

    Provenance

    A. Joyau estate (1872-1913, Paris, Lugt supp. 1401a); Aimée and Rosamond Lamb, MA; acquired November 1973

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Aimée and Miss Rosamond Lamb

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 27.8 x 18.3 cm (10 15/16 x 7 3/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1973.578

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • The Gasoline Station

    1937
    Joseph Solman (American (born in Russia), 1909–2008 American (born in Russia))

    Description

    Inscription

    Reverse: Gas Station 1937 by Joseph Solman

    Provenance

    By 1982, Martin Diamond Fine Arts, New York; May 26, 1982, sold to John Axelrod; 1985, gift of the Axelrod Collection to MFA. (Accession Date: September 24, 1985)

    Credit Line

    The John Axelrod Collection

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    63.18 x 86.36 cm (24 7/8 x 34 in.)

    Accession Number

    1985.675

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Carp Banners in Kyoto

    Fête des Garçons

    1888
    Louis Dumoulin (French, 1860–1924)

    Description

    Inscription

    signed and dated lower right: Kyoto-Louis Dumoulin 1888

    Provenance

    1986, Wheelock Whitney and Co., New York; 1986, sold by Wheelock Whitney and Co. to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 26, 1986)

    Credit Line

    Fanny P. Mason Fund in memory of Alice Thevin

    Details

    Dimensions

    46 x 54.3 cm (18 1/8 x 21 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1986.582

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Out on Loan

    On display at Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Japan, January 2, 2015 – May 10, 2015

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Venice: I Gesuati

    about 1911
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Provenance

    Purchased from the artist through M. Knoedler, New York, April 4, 1912

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    35.4 x 49.3 cm (13 15/16 x 19 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.202

    Medium or Technique

    Translucent watercolor, with touches of opaque watercolor and wax resist, over graphite on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Venice: La Dogana

    about 1909
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Provenance

    Purchased from the artist through M. Knoedler, New York, April 4, 1912

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 50.9 x 35.6 cm (20 1/16 x 14 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.201

    Medium or Technique

    Translucent and opaque watercolor over graphite on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Venice: La Salute

    1909
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Provenance

    Purchased by from the artist through M. Knoedler, New York, April 4, 1912

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 40.5 x 53.3 cm (15 15/16 x 21 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.200

    Medium or Technique

    Translucent watercolor, with touches of opaque watercolor and wax resist, over graphite on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Houses near the Bay

    1915
    Edna Boies Hopkins (American, 1872–1937 American)

    Description

    Inscription

    In graphite, l.l.: Edna Boies Hopkins; l.r.: No 6

    Provenance

    John T. Spaulding (1870-1948) Boston; by whom given to MFA by bequest June 3, 1948

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Vasseur 02

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 37.8 x 33.5 cm (14 7/8 x 13 3/16 in.) Block: 22.5 x 20 cm (8 7/8 x 7 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.914

    Medium or Technique

    Color woodcut

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints

    More Info
  • Winter, Richmond, Indiana

    1859–60
    Lefevre James Cranstone (British, active in 1845–1867 British)

    Description

    Provenance

    Maxim Karolik, Newport; Gift to MFA November 8, 1951

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Watercolors and Drawings, 1800–1875

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Karolik (1962) cat. 778

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 15 x 34.3 cm (5 7/8 x 13 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    51.2517

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Santa Maria Formosa, Venice

    1912
    Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American (born in Canada), 1858–1924)

    Description

    Inscription

    Inscriptions: l.r. in black ink: Maurice B. Prendergast/Venis 1912

    Provenance

    Comtesse de Bellele; to Wildenstein (New York); Victor D. Spark (1898-1991, New York); from whom purchased by MFA, February 12, 1959.

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Clark, Matthews, Owens 1013

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 55.9 x 38.7 cm (22 x 15 1/4 in.) Framed: 78.1 x 61.9 cm (30 3/4 x 24 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    59.58

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor and graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Panorama

    Artist Unknown American, 19th century (American)

    Description

    Provenance

    Maxim Karolik, Newport; Gift to MFA October 20, 1955

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Watercolors and Drawings, 1800–1875

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Karolik cat. 1126 (folk artists)

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 25.4 x 1280.2 cm (10 x 504 in.)

    Accession Number

    55.698

    Medium or Technique

    Graphite pencil, pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Morning at Gargagno, Lake of Garda

    Morning at Gargagno, Lake of Garda, Italy

    1911
    Edward Darley Boit (American, 1840–1915)

    Description

    Inscription

    Reverse side possibly artist's hand: Morning at Gargagno

    Signed

    Lower left: Boit 1911

    Provenance

    Purchased by MFA, March 7, 1912.

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    35.5 x 48 cm (14 x 18 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.153

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Poppi in the Casentino, Tuscany

    1910
    Edward Darley Boit (American, 1840–1915)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower left: Boit-Poppi-Oct.1910

    Provenance

    Purchased by MFA, March 7, 1912.

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    41.3 x 62 cm (16 1/4 x 24 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.152

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • East River, New York

    1911
    Edward Darley Boit (American, 1840–1915)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower right: Boit New York 1911

    Provenance

    Purchased by MFA, March 7, 1912.

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 56 x 68.6cm (22 1/16 x 27in.) Framed: 88.9 x 100.6 cm (35 x 39 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.132

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • Park Avenue, New York

    1911
    Edward Darley Boit (American, 1840–1915)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower right: Boit New York 1911

    Provenance

    Purchased by MFA, March 7, 1912.

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    55 x 67 cm (21 5/8 x 26 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.131

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

    More Info
  • San Giorgio Maggiore: from the Bacino di S. Marco

    about 1726–30
    Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) (Italian (Venetian), 1697–1768)

    Description

    The Benedictine church of San Giorgio Maggiore, a masterpiece by Andrea Palladio begun in 1566, occupies its own island in the Venetian lagoon near Saint Mark’s Square (Bacino di S. Marco). The church features prominently in the work of Canaletto and his Venetian contemporaries who specialized in city views, known as vedute. Canaletto carefully composed the various elements of the painting, framing the composition with picturesque clusters of boats.

    Provenance

    Possibly acquired from the artist by Prince Joseph Wenceslaus of Liechtenstein (b. 1696 - d. 1772), Vienna; by 1873 until probably 1948, Princes of Liechtenstein collection, Vienna and Vaduz, Liechtenstein [see note 1]. J. Farago. 1956, Thos. Agnew and Sons, Ltd., London; 1956, sold by Agnew to William A. Coolidge (b. 1901 - d. 1992), Topsfield and Cambridge, MA; 1993, bequest of William A. Coolidge to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 27, 1993) NOTES: [1] For further discussion of the early provenance of this painting, see Peter C. Sutton, "The William Appleton Coolidge Collection" (Boston, 1993), cat. no. 11, pp. 63-65. While it is thought to have been acquired by Prince Joseph Wenceslaus in the 18th century, the painting cannot be securely identified in the princely collections until 1873. Its companion, depicting the Grand Canal, Venice, from Santa Maria della Carità (sale, Sotheby's, London, May 30, 1991, lot 61) remained in the Princes of Liechtenstein collection until 1948.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of William A. Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    46.3 x 63.2cm (18 1/4 x 24 7/8in.) Framed: 60.3 x 76.8 x 6.4 cm (23 3/4 x 30 1/4 x 2 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1993.34

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Robert and Ruth Remis Gallery (Gallery 244)

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    Europe

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  • Piccadilly, London

    Picadilly, London

    1911
    Edward Darley Boit (American, 1840–1915)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower right: Boit-London,1911

    Provenance

    Purchased by MFA, March 7, 1912.

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    38 x 28 cm (14 15/16 x 11 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.134

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Venice, Afternoon on the Grand Canal

    1911
    Edward Darley Boit (American, 1840–1915)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower left: Boit-Venice-1911

    Provenance

    Purchased by MFA. (Accession date: March 7, 1912)

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 38 x 48.2 cm (14 15/16 x 19 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.146

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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  • A Street in Arezzo

    1911
    Edward Darley Boit (American, 1840–1915)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower right: Boit-Arezzo-1911

    Provenance

    Purchased by MFA, March 7, 1912.

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 38 x 28cm (14 15/16 x 11in.) Framed: 58.7 x 48.3 cm (23 1/8 x 19 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.150

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Rio di San Barnaba, Venice

    1911
    Edward Darley Boit (American, 1840–1915)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower left: Boit-Venice-1911

    Provenance

    Purchased by MFA. (Accession date, March 7, 1912)

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 48.2 x 35.5 cm (19 x 14 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.147

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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  • West Church, Boston

    1900–01
    Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American (born in Canada), 1858–1924)

    Description

    Inscription

    l. r. in brown ink: Prendergast

    Provenance

    McBeth Galleries; Hirschl & Adler, New York; puchased by MFA, December 11, 1958. Sheldon F. Wardwell; to (Macbeth), 1940; Robert Brackman, 1941; to (Hirschl & Adler), 1958; to present collection, 1958.

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Clark, Matthews, Owens 0764

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 27.8 x 39.1cm (10 15/16 x 15 3/8in.) Framed: 39.4 x 51.8 cm (15 1/2 x 20 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    58.1199

    Medium or Technique

    Transparent and opaque watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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  • Delaware River Front, Philadelphia

    1794–1851
    Artist Thomas Birch (American (born in England), 1779–1851)

    Description

    Inscription

    Paper squared in graphite pencil

    Provenance

    Maxim Karolik, Newport; Gift to MFA May 10, 1961

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Watercolors and Drawings, 1800–1875

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Karolik (1962) cat. 70, fig. 34

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 25.7 x 35.2 cm (10 1/8 x 13 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    61.260

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper (paper squared in graphite)

    Not On View

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  • Street in Old Chelsea

    about 1880–85
    James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American (active in England), 1834–1903)

    Description

    In 1901, Charles Lang Freer, Whistler’s most important patron, wrote that the artist’s little street scenes were “superficially, the size of your hand, but, artistically, as large as a continent.” [1] Whistler was fascinated by the geometry of shopfronts and streetscapes, recording these architectural subjects in oil on small panels and also in watercolors and prints. Many of these scenes were painted in Chelsea, an artistic section of London with prosperous areas as well as working class neighborhoods, where Whistler lived for nearly forty years at various addresses. He often set up his easel on the Chelsea Embankment of the River Thames and rendered the industrial views on the opposite shore, or he turned around to record the row of shops on the western end of Cheyne Walk, opposite the Embankment.
    Whistler may have painted Street in Old Chelsea during the spring of 1884 when he was preparing for his exhibition “Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Grey” at Dowdeswell and Dowdeswell’s Gallery in London. In early May Whistler wrote to Charles William Dowdeswell that he should not look for him in the studio for “I shall be on the Embankment painting away for dear life.” [2] In Street in Old Chelsea, Whistler depicted Edward Knight’s Marine stores; Mrs. Maunder’s fish shop at 72 Cheyne Walk (the light-colored building with the peaked roof); and the shops of a tailor, a boot-maker, a chimney sweep, and a plumber. [3]Mrs. Maunder’s fish shop was a favorite motif of Whistler’s; he included it in two etchings—The Fish-Shop, Busy Chelsea [50.238] (about 1886) and Little Maunders (1887)—and a lithograph—Maunder’s Fish Shop, Chelsea [59.820] (1890). The shop, long run by Mrs. Elizabeth Maunder, was razed in 1892; it was in the house built on that very site that Whistler died in 1903.

    Whistler used many shades of gray and brown, punctuated by reds, to render this London street scene, making Maunder’s fish market, with its facing gable and light color, a focal point. As in most of his images of building facades, he placed the shops fronts parallel to the picture plane. He painted the foreground thinly with smooth strokes, and he used tiny brushes to render an incredible amount of architectural detail in the upper half of the panel and to depict the figures in the foreground and on the sidewalk in front of the stores.

    Whistler scholars have suggested that Street in Old Chelsea may have been exhibited under the title Chelsea: Yellow and Grey in Whistler’s 1884 exhibition, itself entitled “Arrangement in Flesh Colour and Grey”. [4]One reviewer of that show, apparently referring to the foreground figures of Street in Old Chelsea who seem to lack legs and feet, wrote: “I should think the marionettes are rather often in the streets of Chelsea from the figures that appear in (11) ‘Chelsea: yellow and grey.’” [5] The small size of this panel also connects it to this innovative exhibition, which challenged the contemporary idea that an important work of art had to be large. Almost all of the works in Whistler’s show were small, some measuring little more than three by five inches. By using wide frames, usually reserved for sizeable oil paintings, Whistler implied that his small works were as important as large ones, while his use of the same wide frames for watercolors and pastels suggested that works in those media were as significant as oil paintings. Whistler’s aim was to show that the value of a work of art should not be dependent on size or medium but on the harmony of the line and color and overall beauty.

    Whistler found aesthetic inspiration not only in well-to-do settings, but in the ordinary store fronts of Chelsea, especially those in the lower-class sections. While he believed that form and color took precedence over subject matter, Whistler nevertheless left a compelling record of London from the 1870s to the 1890s. As one of his followers, Walter Sickert, wrote in 1890, “Suppose a thousand years hence the pictures painted to-day are discovered hidden away … Whistler’s Chelsea shops will tell the discoverers exactly what London was like at the end of the nineteenth century.”[6]

    Although the early history of Street in Old Chelsea is unknown, by 1902 it had been acquired by Denman Waldo Ross, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, artist, teacher, and collector with wide-ranging tastes. He entered the painting in the one hundredth annual exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1905, where a critic called it and Whistler’s eight other landscapes “the real gems of the centenary exhibition.” [7] Ross gave Street in Old Chelsea to the MFA in 1909, one of over 11,000 objects he would donate to the Museum.

    Notes
    1. Linda Merrill et al., After Whistler: The Artist and His Influence on American Painting (New Haven: High Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2003), 128.
    2. Kenneth John Myers, Mr. Whistler’s Gallery: Pictures at an 1884 Exhibition (London: Freer Gallery of Art and Scala Publishers, 2003), 19.
    3. Anna Gruetzner Robins, A Fragile Modernism: Whistler and his Impressionist Followers (New Haven and London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Yale University Press, 2007), 124–26. See also Fish-Shop, Chelsea, in James McNeill Whistler: The Etchings, a Catalogue Raisonné, by Margaret F. MacDonald, Grischka Petri, Meg Hausberg, and Joanna Meacock (Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2011), no. 267, accessed January 6, 2012, http://etchings.arts.gla.ac.uk.
    4. See Myers, Mr. Whistler’s Gallery, 86, and Andrew McLaren Young et al., The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler (New Haven and London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Yale University Press, 1980), 137.
    5. Myers, Mr. Whistler’s Gallery, 86.
    6. Sickert quoted in Robins, A Fragile Modernism, 123.
    7. M. B., “Pennsylvania Academy Exhibition,” The Collector and Art Critic 3, no. 1 (February 15, 1905): 8.

    Janet L. Comey

    Provenance

    About 1880-85, the artist. By 1902, Denman Waldo Ross (1853-1935), Cambridge, Mass.; 1909, gift of Denman Waldo Ross to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 26, 1909)

    Credit Line

    Denman Waldo Ross Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    13.33 x 22.86 cm (5 1/4 x 9 in.)

    Accession Number

    09.297

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    Robert P. and Carol T. Henderson Gallery (Gallery 228)

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  • Entrance to the Village of Vétheuil in Winter

    1879
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    In Vétheuil, a town farther down the Seine than Argenteuil and hence still untouched by signs of modernity, Monet painted no suburban gardens or sailboat regattas. A sweep of country road leading into the village, bordered by messy stretches of grasses and weeds sodden with melting snow, takes up the bottom half of the picture. The eye is not held by the colors and texture present in the foreground but rushes past, only to be stopped by the phalanx of houses constituting the village, their rectilinear forms hastily sketched in blue. Perspective here is exaggerated, with the point of view chosen so that the roadway covers what seems a disproportionate area of the canvas. Monet could have seen such a composition in nineteenth-century Japanese woodblock prints that were being imported in France in large numbers.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Claude Monet

    Provenance

    February 1880, sold by the artist to M. Bascle, Paris. 1890, Charles Bonnemaison Bascle, Paris; May 3, 1890, Bonnemaison Bascle sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 33, to Boussod, Valadon et Cie., Paris, for 1,020 fr.; sold by Boussod, Valdon et Cie. to Williams and Everett, Boston; 1891, sold by Williams and Everett to James M. Prendergast (d. 1899), Boston; 1899, by inheritance to his sister, Julia C. Prendergast, Boston; 1921, gift of Julia C. Prendergast to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 18, 1921)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Julia C. Prendergast in memory of her brother, James Maurice Prendergast

    Details

    Dimensions

    60.6 x 81 cm (23 7/8 x 31 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    21.7

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Riverbank with Bathers

    about 1882
    Jean Charles Cazin (French, 1841–1901)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J C. CAZIN -18 [...]1

    Provenance

    1889, Antonin Proust (b. 1832 - d. 1905), Paris [see note 1]. 1890, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris; September 25, 1890, sold by Galerie Georges Petit to Joseph Foxcroft Cole (b. 1837 - d. 1892) for Peter Chardon Brooks (b. 1831 - d. 1920), Boston; by descent to his daughter, Eleanor Brooks (Mrs. Richard M.) Saltonstall, Boston; 1920, gift of Mrs. Richard M. Saltonstall to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 21, 1920) NOTES: [1] This was probably the painting he lent to the Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1889, no. 280 ("La Marne") .

    Credit Line

    Peter Chardon Brooks Memorial Collection; Gift of Mrs. Richard M. Saltonstall

    Details

    Dimensions

    131.2 x 147 cm (51 5/8 x 57 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    20.593

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Snow at Argenteuil

    about 1874
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Painted not far from his house in Argenteuil, and likely begun outdoors, this work demonstrates Monet’s interest in the changing effects of light and weather. Primed with a light-gray ground, the canvas can be seen through some of the thinly applied brushstrokes, while quick dabs of pigment and larger sweeps of color define the objects and the people. The path situates the viewer in the scene. The fence and meadow act as a framing device, so that like the pedestrians (and like the artist himself, as he painted) we can feel the cold, damp air and falling snow. Monet’s decision to depict a snowfall in progress, and not simply a winter scene of fallen snow, reflects the influence of Japanese Ukiyo-e prints.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet

    Provenance

    April 29, 1890, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 305) [see note 1]; July 4, 1890, sold by Durand-Ruel to Annette (Anna) Perkins Rogers (b. 1840 - d. 1920), Boston [see note 2]; 1921, bequest of Anna Perkins Rogers to the MFA. (Accession Date: July 7, 1921) NOTES: [1] According to a letter from Durand-Ruel, Paris, to the MFA (1962). [2] The letter from Durand-Ruel (see above, n. 1) gives the date of the painting's sale to "Mr. P. Rogers" as June 14, but a dated receipt in the MFA object file confirms that it was sold to Miss [Anna] P. Rogers on July 4, 1890.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Anna Perkins Rogers

    Details

    Dimensions

    54.6 x 73.7 cm (21 1/2 x 29 in.)

    Accession Number

    21.1329

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Sunlight on the Road, Pontoise

    1874
    Camille Pissarro (French (born in the Danish West Indies), 1830–1903)

    Description

    During the 1870s, many of the Impressionist landscape painters went to live in the small towns surrounding Paris. They painted the ordinary scenes of the nearby countryside with a fresh, direct approach, often working outdoors. The balanced composition and cool harmony of blues, greens, and creamy yellow give this river view a serene stability typical of the work of Pissarro, a leader in the group and an important mentor to Cézanne and Gauguin.

    Inscription

    Lower right: C. Pissarro. 1874

    Provenance

    Jean-Baptiste Faure (b. 1830 - d. 1914), Paris; possibly sold by Faure to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 1]; 1919, sold from Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 4258). By 1924, Robert J. Edwards, (d. 1924), Boston; 1925, bequest of Robert J. Edwards to the MFA. [see note 2] (Accession Date: April 2, 1925) NOTES: [1] According to Lodovic Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi, "Camille Pissarro, son art - son oeuvre" (Paris, 1939), vol. 1, cat. no. 255, p. 115, the painting was in the Faure collection and a note in the MFA curatorial file indicates that Faure's name can be found "written rather indistinctly" on the reverse of the painting stretcher. According to additional notes in the MFA curatorial file, Herbert Elfers of Durand-Ruel, New York, told Charles C. Cunningham of the MFA that Durand-Ruel probably bought the painting from the Faure collection. However, the gallery was unable to provide verification of this, stating only that the New York branch had acquired it from the Paris branch in 1919. [2] Siblings Robert (d. 1924), Hannah (d. 1929), and Grace (d. 1938) Edwards were each collectors of art, who seemed to have had joint ownership of the objects in their possession. When Robert died, he bequeathed his collection to the MFA in memory of their mother, Juliana Cheney Edwards. In 1925, after his death, part of his collection was acquired by the Museum, and the remainder went to his sisters, with the understanding that the objects would ultimately be left to the MFA in the collection begun in memory of their mother. The collections of Hannah and Grace were left to the MFA in 1939, following Grace's death. It is not always possible to determine exactly which paintings each sibling had owned.

    Credit Line

    Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    52.4 x 81.6 cm (20 5/8 x 32 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.114

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • At Dusk (Boston Common at Twilight)

    1885–86
    Childe Hassam (American, 1859–1935)

    Description

    Childe Hassam, the son of a Dorchester hardware merchant, had made only one trip to Europe before painting Boston Common at Twilight. He studied French art in Boston collections, and he was familiar with the popular work of painters active in Paris, like Jean Béraud and Giuseppe de Nittis, who took modern life as their main subject and frequently depicted fashionable young women in urban settings. Hassam adapted their French aesthetic to his native city and began a series of large canvases representing several of Boston’s developing neighborhoods: Back Bay, the South End, and Park Square.
    Originally an open field for cattle grazing and military parades, the Boston Common had been transformed into an oasis of elm trees and graceful promenades by the time Hassam painted it in the mid-1880s. He chose a view of the Tremont Street Mall, one of five broad tree-lined walkways that provided Boston pedestrians with an elegant alternative to the city’s noisy thoroughfares. The artist doubtless enjoyed it himself, for his studio was just across the street.

    Despite the old-fashioned charm Boston Common at Twilight presents to viewers today, in Hassam’s time this scene was distinctly modern. Once an area of elegant residential row houses, many of the streets around the Boston Common recently had been transformed into a lively business district. The red brick buildings visible at left were mostly new; the traffic of trolley cars and carriages on the road marks the bustling commerce of late afternoon; and artificial light glows from streetlights and storefronts. Hassam enhanced his impression of the fast pace of city life by using a perspective scheme in which the vertical lines of the fence, the lampposts, and the trees recede rapidly into the distance, coming closer and closer together.

    Hassam contrasted the hurried movement at left with the calm quiet of the snowy park. A stylishly dressed young mother and her child pause to feed the birds while other figures stroll through the rosy dusk. Hassam used a variety of reds to unify his composition, bringing the rusty brick buildings, the glow of the lamps, and even the brilliant end of a lit cigarette in the hand of a passerby into harmony with the sunset sky and the pinkish snow. The artist’s interest in contemporary subjects and in different kinds of light allies this painting with Impressionism, but in Hassam’s gentle vision of the city, nature humanizes the modern world.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower right: [crescent] Childe Hassam/1885-6

    Provenance

    1885-86, the artist; 1887, sold at auction at Noyes, Cobb, and Co., Boston, March 9 (possibly to someone named "Daniels" as catalogue annotation suggests); possibly with a Mr. Andrews, Boston; by about 1893, to Samuel Appleton (1846-1926), Boston; 1926, by descent to his daughter, Maud E. Appleton (born 1873), Boston; 1927, lent by Maud E. Appleton to the MFA; 1931, gift of Miss Maud E. Appleton to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 3, 1931)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Maud E. Appleton

    Details

    Dimensions

    106.68 x 152.4 cm (42 x 60 in.)

    Accession Number

    31.952

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Suzanne and Terrence Murray Gallery (Gallery 226)

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  • Canterbury

    1889
    Childe Hassam (American, 1859–1935)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Childe Hassam / Canterbury 1889

    Signed

    signed

    Provenance

    Heirs of Elizabeth A. Cotton; gift to MFA, June 1, 1933.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the heirs of Elizabeth A. Cotton

    Details

    Dimensions

    34.3 x 24.2 cm (13 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    33.526

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Carnival, Franklin Park, Boston

    1897
    Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American (born in Canada), 1858–1924)

    Description

    Provenance

    With Doll & Richards, Boston; before 1919, Miss Nellie P. Carter, Boston gift of the estate of Nellie P. Carter to MFA Nov. 7, 1935

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Estate of Nellie Parney Carter

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Clark, Matthews, Owens 0611

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 34 x 37.5 cm (13 3/8 x 14 3/4 in.) Framed: 54 x 59.7 cm (21 1/4 x 23 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    35.1689

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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  • Italian Hill Town

    about 1845
    Jean Achille Benouville (French (Paris), 1815–1891)

    Description

    Provenance

    Possibly by 1884, Thomas Wigglesworth (b. 1814 - d. 1906 or 1907), Boston [see note 1]; March 30, 1900, probably Wigglesworth sale, Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, New York, lot 34, unsold; by descent to his niece, Henrietta Goddard Wigglesworth (Mrs. W. Scott Fitz) (b. 1847 - d. 1927), Boston; by descent to her son, Edward Jackson Holmes (b. 1873 - d. 1950), Boston; 1941, gift of Edward Jackson Holmes to the MFA [see note 1]. (Accession Date: March 13, 1941) NOTES: [1] Formerly attributed to Corot, this may have been lent by Thomas Wigglesworth to the Boston Art Club in 1884, according to notes in the MFA curatorial file.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Edward Jackson Holmes

    Details

    Dimensions

    14.6 x 28 cm (5 3/4 x 11 in.)

    Accession Number

    41.120

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on paper mounted on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Turn in the Road

    about 1881
    Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906)

    Description

    During the 1870s, Cézanne admired and worked closely with Camille Pissarro, one of the most innovative Impressionist landscape painters. In comparison to Pissarro’s more straightforward views of the countryside, this bold landscape shows Cézanne’s interest in complex arrangements of shapes and spaces that challenge the viewer’s perceptions. In this painting, for example, the curving roadway draws us into deep space and at the same time forms a flattened shape on the surface of the painting. The first owner of this landscape was Cézanne’s contemporary Claude Monet.

    Provenance

    Before 1894, possibly Julien-François Tanguy (b. 1825 - d. 1894), Paris (?). 1894, Théodore Duret (b. 1838 - d. 1927), Paris; March 19, 1894, Duret sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, lot 3, to Paul-César Helleu (b. 1859 - d. 1927), Paris; sold by Helleu to Claude Monet (b. 1840 - d. 1926), Giverny; 1926, by descent from Monet to his son, Michel Monet (b. 1878 - d. 1966), Giverny; 1926/27, sold by Michel Monet to Paul Rosenberg and Co., Paris, for Wildenstein and Co., Paris; 1927, sold by Wildenstein to John Taylor Spaulding (b. 1870 - d. 1948), Boston; 1948, bequest of John Taylor Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    60.6 x 73.3 cm (23 7/8 x 28 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.525

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Entrance to the Village of Osny

    1882–83
    Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903)

    Description

    Beginning in the mid-1870s, when he was still a “Sunday painter,” Gauguin spent much time with the Impressionists, exhibited with them, and collected their pictures. The lively color, small brushstrokes, and unassuming subject of this village view reflect Impressionist influence, particularly that of Camille Pissarro.

    Provenance

    1883, given by the artist to Camille Pissarro (b. 1830 - d. 1903), Paris [see note 1]; by descent to his widow, Mme. Pissarro [see note 2]; 1919, sold by Mme. Pissarro to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock nos. 11900 and 12311) and New York (stock no. 4538); March 28, 1921, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York to John Taylor Spaulding (b. 1870 - d. 1948), Boston; 1948, bequest of John Taylor Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948) NOTES: [1] According to information provided by Mme. Pissarro to Durand-Ruel (see below, n. 2), Gauguin gave this painting to Pissarro during his stay in Pontoise. Gauguin visited Pissarro in Osny, a village on the northwestern edge of Pontoise, in June and July of 1883. [2] A letter from Durand-Ruel to John Taylor Spaulding (April 1, 1921) confirmed that the painting had been given by Gauguin to Pissarro, but states that Pissarro sold it to Jean-Baptiste Faure and that it had been sold at his estate sale. This information is corrected in a subsequent letter, from E. G. Holston of Durand-Ruel to John Taylor Spaulding (January 9, 1933; in MFA curatorial file): "The real story is that after Pissarro's death we purchased from Mme. Pissarro some of his canvases and they were sent to our Paris Gallery and on examination we found one that was unsigned which we know was not by Pissarro.... When Mme. Pissarro came to Paris we asked her and she stated that it was a Gauguin given to Pissarro during his stay in Pontoise."

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    60.0 x 72.7 cm (23 5/8 x 28 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.545

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Copley Square, Boston

    about 1908

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: A.C. GOODWIN

    Provenance

    The artist; John T. Spaulding; to MFA, 1948, bequest of John T. Spaulding.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    76.83 x 91.76 cm (30 1/4 x 36 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.550

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Park Street, Boston

    about 1908

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: A C GOODWIN

    Provenance

    Hisotry of Ownership: the artist; John T. Spaulding; to MFA, 1948, bequest of John T. Spaulding.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    48.58 x 66.04 cm (19 1/8 x 26 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.551

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Rue de la Bavole, Honfleur

    about 1864
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Dating from the beginning of Monet’s career, this view of a street in the old port of Honfleur is a relatively traditional subject painted with great simplicity and directness. Monet’s palette of pure, contrasting colors is a radical departure from the traditional practice of building up an overall tonality through delicate gradations of color.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet

    Provenance

    1867, possibly Frédéric Bazille (b. 1841 - d. 1870), Paris [see note 1]. Until 1897, possibly Aimé Diot, Paris; March 8-9, 1897, possibly posthumous Diot sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 102 [see note 2]. About 1901, with Arthur Tooth and Sons [see note 3]; November 21, 1902, sold by Tooth to Durand-Ruel, Paris; August 12, 1912, sold by Durand-Ruel to Galerie Thannhauser, Munich [see note 4]; 1915, probably sold by Thannhauser to Oscar Schmitz (b. 1861 - d. 1933), Dresden [see note 5]; 1936, sold by the estate of Oscar Schmitz to Wildenstein and Co., Paris and New York [see note 6]; 1940, sold by Wildenstein to John Taylor Spaulding (b. 1870 - d. 1948), Boston; 1948, bequest of John Taylor Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948) NOTES: [1] This painting, or a closely-related variant (Mannheim, Städtische Kunsthalle), is depicted in Bazille's "The Artist's Studio, Rue Visconti, Paris" of 1867 (Richmond, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts). [2] See Daniel Wildenstein, "Monet: catalogue raisonné" (1996), vol. 2, p. 21, cat. no. 33. [3] The painting was probably with the Paris branch of this London-based gallery. The dates of the Durand-Ruel transactions are taken from Henri Loyrette and Gary Tinterow, "Origins of Impressionism, 1859-1869" (exh cat. Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1994-1995), p. 425. cat. no. 124. [4] While with the Galerie Thannhauser, the painting was published by Georg Biermann, "Die Kunst auf dem internationalen Markt. Gemälde aus dem Besitz der modernen Galerie Thannhauser, München," Der Cicerone, no. 21 (May 1913), p. 325 and in the Katalog der Modernen Galerie Heinrich Thannhauser München (Munich, 1916), cat. no. 26; see below, n. 5. [5] According to "La Collection Oscar Schmitz" (exh. cat., Wildenstein and Co., Paris, 1936), p. 90, cat. no. 40, Schmitz acquired the painting in 1915. Though it was illustrated in the Katalog der Modernen Galerie Heinrich Thannhauser München, published in 1916 (see above, n. 4), it is still quite possible that Schmitz purchased the painting from Thannhauser in 1915, after the gallery catalogue went to press but before its publication in 1916. [6] A large portion of the Schmitz collection was for sale as early as 1934. In 1936, Wildenstein acquired it and held the exhibition "La Collection Oscar Schmitz" (as above, n. 5). See Heike Biedermann, "Die Sammlungen Adolf Rothermundt und Oscar Schmitz in Dresden," in "Die Modernen und ihre Sammler: Französische Kunst im deutschem Privatbesitz vom Kaiserreich zur Weimarer Republik," ed. Andrea Pophanken and Felix Billeter (Berlin, 2001), 213-222.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    55.9 x 61.0 cm (22 x 24 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.580

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Polly B. and Richard D. Hill Gallery (Gallery 253)

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  • Pontoise, the Road to Gisors in Winter

    1873
    Camille Pissarro (French (born in the Danish West Indies), 1830–1903)

    Description

    France experienced unusually harsh winters and heavy snowfall in the early 1870s. This street scene shows residents sweeping up a light dusting beneath a sky that promises more in Pontoise, the small town Northwest of Paris where Pissarro lived from 1872 to 1882. The oldest member of the Impressionist group, Pissarro was also among its most daring innovators. Here he evoked cobblestones, shingled roofs, and a lowering sky with short, telegraphic strokes—dots and dashes of juxtaposed, unblended color.

    Inscription

    Lower right: C. Pissarro 1873

    Provenance

    1925, Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York (stock no. 2079); February 7, 1925, sold by Durand-Ruel to John Taylor Spaulding (b. 1870 - d. 1948), Boston; 1948, bequest of John Taylor Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    59.7 x 73.7 cm (23 1/2 x 29 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.587

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Polly B. and Richard D. Hill Gallery (Gallery 253)

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  • Early Snow at Louveciennes

    about 1870–71
    Alfred Sisley (British (active in France), 1839–1899)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: A. Sisley

    Provenance

    By 1892, M. Picq-Véron, Ermont-Eaubonne, France [see note 1]; June 25, 1892, sold by Picq-Véron to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 2389); October 25, 1897, sold by Durand-Ruel to Hugo von Tschudi for the National Gallery, Berlin [see note 2]; 1936, exchanged by the National Gallery, Berlin, with Fritz Nathan, Galerie Nathan, St. Gallen, Switzerland; sold by Nathan, through Walter Feilchenfeldt, to Paul Rosenberg, Paris [see note 3]. 1937, with Raphael Gérard, Paris [see note 4]. 1939, Arthur Tooth and Sons, London; May 19, 1939, sold by Tooth to John Taylor Spaulding (b. 1870 - d. 1948), Boston; 1948, bequest of John Taylor Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948) NOTES: [1] Mr. Picq-Véron was a prominent collector of Sisley's work. [2] See letters of December 9, 1967 and January 31, 1968 from Charles Durand-Ruel to Lucretia Geise of the MFA in curatorial files. Mr. von Tschudi was a close friend of the Durand-Ruel family, as well as an avid collector of Impressionist painting. He served as Director of the National Gallery, Berlin from 1896 to 1909. [3] The Sisley was one of five paintings deaccessioned by the National Gallery and exchanged with dealer Fritz Nathan for Caspar David Friedrich's "Man and Woman Looking at the Moon." See Manet bis Van Gogh: Hugo von Tschudi und der Kampf um die Moderne (Berlin: Nationalgalerie, 1996), p. 106, cat. no. 32 and Esther Tisa Francini et al., Fluchtgut-Raubgut (Zurich, 2001), pp. 112-113. The latter source cites information from Fritz Nathan's son Peter, according to whom the Sisley was sold by his father to Paul Rosenberg, who then gave the painting to the MFA. This is at least partially incorrect, as the painting came to the MFA in the bequest of John Taylor Spaulding, who had purchased it from Tooth. Fritz Nathan did however state that he sold the painting through Feilchenfeldt to Rosenberg; see his Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben (Zurich, 1965), p. 90. At the time Spaulding purchased it from Tooth, it was planned for inclusion in a Sisley exhibition to be held at Paul Rosenberg's gallery in Paris in the spring of 1939, but whether Rosenberg continued to hold any ownership in the work at that time is not known. [4] According to D. Corcoran of Reid and Lefevre (letter to the MFA, October 9, 1967), Gérard lent the painting to the exhibition "Pissarro and Sisley," Reid and Lefevre Gallery, London, January 1937, cat. no. 15. Whether Gérard owned it at this time is not certain. A letter from Dudley Tooth of Tooth and Sons (May 20, 1939) says that the painting "passed into my hands by the dealer who made the exchange" with the National Gallery in Berlin.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    54.9 x 73.7 cm (21 5/8 x 29 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.600

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Grand Prix Day

    1887
    Childe Hassam (American, 1859–1935)

    Description

    Hassam altered his style in 1887 when he painted Grand Prix Day in light colors that captured the effect of a bright sunny day, rather than using the darker, more tonal palette [31.952] he had previously preferred. He depicted the parade of fashionably dressed Parisians on their way to Longchamp in the Bois de Boulogne for the Grand Prix, an important horse race held annually in June. Hassam exhibited a second, larger version, entitled Le Jour du Grand Prix (New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut), at the Salon of 1888. He described the picture to fellow artist Rose Lamb: “I am painting sunlight… a ‘four in hand’ and the crowds of fiacres filled with the well dressed women who go to the ‘Grand Prix.’” [1]
    Grand Prix Day probably portrays the chestnut-tree-lined avenue Bois de Boulogne (now avenue Foch), with the Arc de Triomphe partially visible to the left. The painting demonstrates Hassam’s adaptation of Claude Monet’s [21.1331] color and brush strokes and the compositional devices of cropping and an empty foreground often utilized by Edgar Degas [39.669] and GustaveCaillebotte [2011.231] to provide a glimpse of modern Parisian life (Degas had painted the racehorses at Longchamp [03.1034] himself some sixteen years earlier). However, Hassam’s more restrained form of Impressionism, influenced by the work of an international group of artists who recorded Paris—including Giuseppe de Nittis, Jean Béraud, and Félix Buhot [M15710]—is evident in the solidity and detail of the horses, carriages, and figures.

    Notes
    1. Childe Hassam to Rose Lamb, November 29, 1887, curatorial files, Department of Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    This text was adapted from Janet L. Comey’s entry in Impressionism Abroad: Boston and French Painting, by Erica E. Hirshler et al., exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2005).

    Inscription

    Lower left: [crescent] CHILDE HASSAM PARIS 1887

    Provenance

    1887, sold by the artist to Williams & Everett, Boston. 1889, with Noyes, Cobb & Co., Boston. About 1900, Celian M. Spitzer (1850-1919), Toledo, Ohio; 1919, sold by the estate of Celian Spitzer to a collateral descendant, Sidney Spitzer (1875-1933), Toledo; by descent to M. Spitzer, Toledo. 1964, with Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York; 1964, sold by Hirschl and Adler to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 8, 1964)

    Credit Line

    Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.28 x 78.74 cm (24 1/8 x 31 in.)

    Accession Number

    64.983

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Suzanne and Terrence Murray Gallery (Gallery 226)

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  • Bridge at Ipswich

    about 1905
    Theodore M. Wendel (American, 1859–1932)

    Description

    In 1898, Theodore Wendel moved to his wife’s large family farm in Ipswich, Massachusetts, a rural, seaside town north of Boston. For the next fifteen years, he portrayed this typical New England village with the Impressionist color and broken brush strokes he had learned from Monet at Giverny in 1886. Like many other Impressionists, he chose a bridge as the focus for his painting - the handsome granite, twin-arched Green Street Bridge, built in 1894 over the Ipswich River. Wendel’s canvas differs from French Impressionist paintings in its clarity and solidity, since American artists tended to use light and color to define forms rather than to dissolve them. However, Wendel was very much like his French counterparts in his use of compositional devices borrowed from Japanese aesthetics. He employed a high horizon line, diagonals that divide the composition, truncated forms, the juxtaposition of architectonic manmade structures with soft natural growth, and enlivening red color notes in his painting. The resulting arrangement is flattened and compressed, and the surface pattern is as interesting and important as the subject matter.

    This text was adapted from an entry by Janet Comey in Erica Hirshler, “Impressionism Abroad: Boston and French Painting,” exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy of Arts, 2005.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Theo Wendel

    Provenance

    About 1932, by descent to the son and daughter-in-law of the artist, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel S. Wendel (1899-1993), Ipswich, Mass.; 1978, consigned by Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Wendel to the Vose Galleries, Boston; 1978, partial purchase and partial gift of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel S. Wendel to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 10, 1978)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel S. Wendel, Tompkins Collection—Arthur Gordon Tompkins Fund, and Seth K. Sweetser Fund, by exchange

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.59 x 76.2 cm (24 1/4 x 30 in.)

    Accession Number

    1978.179

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Boulevard Saint-Denis, Argenteuil, in Winter

    1875
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    The Impressionist interest in specific effects of light and weather is evident in Monet’s rendering of the exact moment in which the sun struggles to break through a light snowfall. He made a preparatory sketch for this painting; clearly, careful deliberation lay behind his seemingly spontaneous technique. The subject of falling snow and the figures with umbrellas are reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints, which had a strong influence on Impressionist artists.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Claude Monet 90

    Provenance

    By 1888, Henri Kapferer, Paris [see note 1]; July 17, 1888, sold by Kapferer to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 1688) [see note 2]; September 25, 1890, sold by Durand-Ruel to Joseph Foxcroft Cole (b. 1837 - d. 1892) for Peter Chardon Brooks (b. 1831 - d. 1920), Boston; by descent to his daughter, Eleanor Brooks (Mrs. Richard M.) Saltonstall, Boston [see note 3]; by descent to her son, Richard Saltonstall (b. 1897 - d. 1982), Boston; 1978, gift of Richard Saltonstall to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 10, 1978) NOTES: [1] According to notes in the MFA curatorial file, Kapferer might have acquired this directly from the artist. [2] The provenance information given here (between 1888 and 1890) is taken from Daniel Wildenstein, "Monet: catalogue raisonné" (1996), vol. 2, p. 148, cat. no. 357a. [3] She first lent this painting to the MFA in 1920.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Richard Saltonstall

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Wildenstein 1996, no. 357a

    Dimensions

    60.9 x 81.6 cm (24 x 32 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1978.633

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • The River Loing at Gréz, France

    1890
    Frederic Porter Vinton (American, 1846–1911)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Frederic P. Vinton. Gréz '90

    Provenance

    1890, the artist; 1911, the estate of the artist, Boston; 1911, sold by the estate of the artist to the MFA for $1,500. (Accession Date: June 1, 1911)

    Credit Line

    Joseph Beale Glover Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    65.4 x 81.28 cm (25 3/4 x 32 in.)

    Accession Number

    11.1388

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Croll Gallery (Gallery 227)

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  • Street Scene

    about 1897
    Jean-François Raffaëlli (French, 1850–1924)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: JFR A FF A E LLI

    Provenance

    Goupil & Co., Paris and New York. By 1891, with Knoedler's, London, Paris, and New York; 1891, sold by Knoedler's to J. Eastman Chase, Boston, MA (dealer?). By 1899, David P. Kimball, Boston, MA; 1923, bequeathed by David P. Kimball to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 1, 1923)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of David P. Kimball in memory of his wife Clara Bertram Kimball

    Details

    Dimensions

    56.2 x 73.6 cm (22 1/8 x 29 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.533

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Antibes Seen from the Plateau Notre-Dame

    1888
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Claude Monet 88

    Provenance

    1889, Georges Petit, Paris [see note 1]; 1889, sold by Petit to M. Knoedler and Co., New York (stock no. 6301); November 1, 1890, sold by Knoedler to Doll and Richards, Boston (stock no. B2666); November 1, 1890, sold by Doll and Richards to Joseph Foxcroft Cole (b. 1837 - d. 1892), Boston [see note 2]; by inheritance to his daughter, Adelaide H. L. A. de Pelgrom Cole (b. 1868) and her husband, William Chester Chase (b. 1865) Boston; 1911, still with Chase [see note 3]. By 1927, Hannah Marcy Edwards (d. 1929), Boston [see note 4]; 1929, by inheritance to her sister, Grace M. Edwards (d. 1938), Boston; 1939, bequest of Hannah Marcy Edwards to the MFA [see note 5]. (Accession Date: October 11, 1939) NOTES: [1] He lent the painting to the exhibition "Claude Monet - A. Rodin," Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1889, cat. no. 124. [2] According to a letter from Lelia Wittler of Knoedler to Charles C. Cunningham of the MFA (November 6, 1939; in MFA curatorial file). Information about Cole's purchase of the painting is taken from a letter from A. S. McKean of Doll and Richards to Charles C. Cunningham (November 1, 1939; in MFA curatorial file). Cole lent the painting to "An Exhibition of Paintings by Claude Monet," St. Botolph Club, Boston, March 28 - April 9, 1892, cat. no. 13. [3] Mrs. William Chester Chase first lent the painting to the MFA in 1894; it was also lent, under her husband's name, to the exhibition "Paintings by Claude Monet, 1876 - 1907," MFA, Boston, August 1 - October 1, 1911, cat. no. 26. [4] Hannah Edwards lent the painting anonymously to the "Memorial Exhibition of Paintings by Claude Monet, " MFA, Boston, January 11 - February 6, 1927, cat. no. 46. [5] Siblings Robert (d. 1924), Hannah (d. 1929), and Grace (d. 1938) Edwards were each collectors of art, who seemed to have had joint ownership of the objects in their possession. When Robert died, he bequeathed his collection to the MFA in memory of their mother, Juliana Cheney Edwards. In 1925, after his death, part of his collection was acquired by the Museum, and the remainder went to his sisters, with the understanding that the objects would ultimately be left to the MFA in the collection begun in memory of their mother. The collections of Hannah and Grace were left to the MFA in 1939, following Grace's death. It is not always possible to determine exactly which paintings each sibling had owned.

    Credit Line

    Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    65.7 x 81.3 cm (25 7/8 x 32 in.)

    Accession Number

    39.672

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • La Croix-Blanche at Saint-Mammès

    1884
    Alfred Sisley (British (active in France), 1839–1899)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Sisley. 84.

    Provenance

    1884, sold by the artist to Georges Petit, Paris [see note 1]. 1899, possibly with Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 2]. By 1929, Hannah Marcy Edwards (d. 1929), Boston [see note 3]; 1929, by descent to her sister, Grace M. Edwards (d. 1938), Boston; 1939, bequest of Hannah Marcy Edwards to the MFA [see note 4]. (Accession Date: October 11, 1939) NOTES: [1] See François Daulte, "Alfred Sisley" (Paris, 1959), no. 509. [2] According to Daulte, 1959 (see above, n. 1), this was cat. no. 147 in the exhibition "Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, et Sisley," Durand-Ruel, Paris, April 1899. Daulte also identifies this painting with cat. no. 300 in the exhibition "Paintings by Boudin...Sisley," Grafton Galleries, London, January-February, 1905; notes in the MFA curatorial file suggest that the latter piece of information is incorrect. That the painting was included in the 1899 Durand-Ruel exhibition has not been confirmed. [3] According to notes in the MFA curatorial file, this picture may have entered Hannah Marcy Edwards's collection as early as 1917, but was certainly in her possession at the time of her death in 1929. [4] Siblings Robert (d. 1924), Hannah (d. 1929), and Grace (d. 1938) Edwards were each collectors of art, who seemed to have had joint ownership of the objects in their possession. When Robert died, he bequeathed his collection to the MFA in memory of their mother, Juliana Cheney Edwards. In 1925, after his death, part of his collection was acquired by the Museum, and the remainder went to his sisters, with the understanding that the objects would ultimately be left to the MFA in the collection begun in memory of their mother. The collections of Hannah and Grace were left to the MFA in 1939, following Grace's death. It is not always possible to determine exactly which paintings each sibling had owned.

    Credit Line

    Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    65.4 x 92.4 cm (25 3/4 x 36 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    39.680

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Village Street with a Rainbow

    1880s
    Jean Charles Cazin (French, 1841–1901)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: J.C. CAZIN

    Provenance

    By 1911, Dr. Charles Goddard Weld (b. 1857 - d. 1911), Boston; by descent to to his widow, Mrs. Charles Goddard Weld (née Hannah Putnam Train; d. 1922); by descent to her daughter, Mrs. Sumner Pingree (née Mary Weld); 1943, gift of Mrs. Sumner Pingree to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 13, 1943)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Sumner Pingree

    Details

    Dimensions

    60 x 73.3 cm (23 5/8 x 28 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    43.135

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Custom House Tower from the Public Garden, Boston

    about 1914
    Arthur Clifton Goodwin (American, 1864–1929)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: A C GOODWIN

    Provenance

    The artist; John T. Spaulding; to MFA, 1948, bequest of John T. Spaulding.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    42.86 x 53.02 cm (16 7/8 x 20 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.556

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel on paperboard

    Not On View

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  • Race Track

    about 1895–97
    Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American (born in Canada), 1858–1924)

    Description

    Maurice Prendergast painted “Racetrack” in Boston shortly after returning from almost four years in France, where he studied at the Académie Julian and tirelessly sketched scenes of Parisian life. Having observed Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pictures of Parisians promenading in parks, at the racetrack, and on the beach, Prendergast painted similar idyllic scenes in the Boston area. In “Race Track” he rendered both adults and children enjoying leisure time at a sporting event held in a large park. This is probably Franklin Park, laid out in the 1880s by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead as part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace (a series of interconnected parks ringing the city). Instead of showing the excitement of the race itself, Prendergast portrayed the audience-on holiday and dressed in their Sunday clothes-between races. The artist delighted in painting white, pink, and gray dresses against the grid created by the fence and chairs. He punctuated the overall pattern of the painting with red-orange parasols, flags, and wagon wheels, giving the scene a festive air. A master watercolorist, Prendergast here treated oil paint as if it were watercolor, indicating white areas by leaving the canvas bare and using thin washes of pigment. The result is a cheerful exposition of urban middle-class recreation expressed through bold color and inventive composition.

    This text was adapted from Carol Troyen and Janet Comey, “Children in American Art” (Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 2007, in Japanese).

    Inscription

    Lower right: Prendergast

    Provenance

    The artist; Charles Prendergast, his brother; to Mrs. Charles Prendergast, the artist's sister-in-law, Westport, Conn.; to MFA, 1962, purchase.

    Credit Line

    Emily L. Ainsley Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    58.42 x 52.7 cm (23 x 20 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    62.321

    Medium or Technique

    Oil and graphite on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Houses at Auvers

    1890
    Vincent van Gogh (Dutch (worked in France), 1853–1890)

    Description

    In May 1890, van Gogh moved from the south of France to Auvers, northwest of Paris, painting many of his finest pictures there in a feverish spurt of activity before his suicide in July. Houses at Auvers shows the landscape of early summer. The view from above creates a flattened tapestry of shapes in which the tiled and thatched roofs of the houses form a mesmerizing patchwork of color.

    Provenance

    By 1905, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger (b. 1862 - d. 1925), Amsterdam; 1908, sold by Van Gogh-Bonger to the Moderne Kunsthandlung Franz Joseph Brakl, Munich. Probably Galerie Thannhauser, Munich. Voss collection, Berlin. 1926, Wildenstein and Co., New York; October 18, 1926, sold by Wildenstein to John Taylor Spaulding (b. 1870 - d. 1948), Boston; 1948, bequest of John Taylor Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    75.6 x 61.9 cm (29 3/4 x 24 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.549

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Dartmouth Street from Copley Square

    about 1910–20
    Arthur Clifton Goodwin (American, 1864–1929)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: A C GOODWIN

    Provenance

    The artist; Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz; to MFA, 1984, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz

    Details

    Dimensions

    33.02 x 48.26 cm (13 x 19 in.)

    Accession Number

    1984.915

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel on paper mounted on paperboard

    Not On View

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  • The Piazzetta, Venice

    1828
    Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796–1875)

    Description

    Corot stopped in Venice on a return journey from Rome during the summer of 1828. The column of Saint Mark, crowned with a winged lion at left, and the column of Saint Theodore, at right, punctuate the open square, their early morning shadows stretching across the pavement. This extraordinarily free, spontaneous sketch is typical of Corot’s studies from his first Italian sojourn.

    Inscription

    Stamped, lower left: VENTE / COROT

    Provenance

    May 26-28, 1875, posthumous Corot sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 47, to Frederick Frothingham (b. 1825 - d. 1891), Milton, MA, for 320 fr. [see note 1]; 1894, bequest of Frederick Frothingham to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 16, 1894) NOTES: [1] The buyer's name is erroneously annotated in a copy of the auction catalogue as Ischingham.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Frederick Frothingham

    Details

    Dimensions

    15.9 x 25.1 cm (6 1/4 x 9 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    94.318

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on paper, mounted on paperboard

    On View

    Polly B. and Richard D. Hill Gallery (Gallery 253)

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  • The Loing at Saint-Mammès

    1882
    Alfred Sisley (British (active in France), 1839–1899)

    Description

    At a moment when Monet sought out the charismatic coasts of Normandy and the French Riviera, Sisley continued to focus on his immediate surroundings, painting landscapes along the Seine in a high Impressionist style. Here wispy strokes of white suggest fast-moving clouds, while shorter, wetter ones describe the river’s ruffled surface. Humans are often all but absent from Monet’s pictures of the 1880s, but Sisley’s landscapes of the period remain emphatically inhabited, filled with the bridges, boats, and modest houses of his suburban environment.

    Provenance

    1890, Durand-Ruel, Paris; December 11, 1890, sold by Durand-Ruel to Coquelin Cadet; May 27, 1893, Coquelin Cadet sale, Georges Petit, Paris, lot 55. 1934, Bernheim-Jeune, Paris; November 15, 1934, sold by Bernheim-Jeune to Wildenstein & Co., Paris; transferred from Wildenstein, Paris, to Wildenstein, London; August 5, 1936, sold by Wildenstein, London, to William A. Coolidge (d. 1992), Topsfield and Cambridge, MA [see note 1]; 1993, bequest of William A. Coolidge to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 27, 1993) NOTES: [1] for details of Wildenstein's history with this painting, see letter of September 1, 1998 from Eliot W. Rowlands of Wildenstein & Co. to Erika Swanson of the MFA in curatorial file.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of William A. Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    49.8 x 64.9 cm (19 5/8 x 25 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1993.44

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Polly B. and Richard D. Hill Gallery (Gallery 253)

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  • Sunset

    about 1915–18
    Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American (born in Canada), 1858–1924)

    Description

    Although he exhibited with the Eight, Maurice Prendergast, along with Arthur Bowen Davies, preferred to depict the pleasant and carefree aspects of modern life. Born in Newfoundland and raised in Boston, Prendergast first traveled abroad in 1886 and later spent three years in Paris from 1891 to 1894. There he studied with Courtois at Atelier Colarossi before attending the life class at the Académie Julian. While in Paris he formed a close friendship with fellow Canadian painter James Morrice, who introduced him to a wide circle of artists and theorists. The experience was crucial and formative for Prendergast. He rapidly absorbed the innovations of contemporary French painting, especially the brushwork of Paul Cézanne and the colorful palette of Henri Matisse and the French Fauves, or Wild Beasts, as they were called by their critics.

    Prendergast renewed his intense interest in French painting after the turn of the century. He modified a decorative style inspired by the Post-Impressionists Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, who had earlier experimented with a technique of painting in small discrete strokes of color resembling a colorful mosaic or pattern of dots called pointillism. In “Sunset” Prendergast combines the vivid and opaque paints of the Fauves with a variety of short touches of color inspired by Signac, using them to render the textures of the costumes, trees, and sky.

    In contrast to the exuberant scenes of Americans at leisure that Prendergast had made at the turn of the century, “Sunset” belongs to a more static group of images produced late in his career. The silhouettes of figures, horses, and dogs arranged in a shallow foreground plane are reminiscent of ancient Egyptian or Assyrian reliefs. This elegiac scene of leisure also recalls the sense of longing and nostalgia evoked by the great bathers of Cézanne and Matisse. Painted during the turmoil of the Great War, “Sunset” suggests a fading era of innocence and carefree pursuits. Many of the grand resort hotels and amusement parks the artist had depicted in earlier paintings, drawings, and prints had by then fallen into ruin or been destroyed by fire and vandals. Although a sense of loss is evident in comparison to his previous images, Prendergast’s bold technique and colorful palette in “Sunset” convey the intensity of his remembrance of times past.

    This text was adapted from Davis, et al., MFA Highlights: American Painting (Boston, 2003) available at www.mfashop.com/mfa-publications.html.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Prendergast;

    Provenance

    1924, by descent to the artist's brother, Charles Prendergast (1863-1948); 1948, by inheritance to his wife Eugenie Prendergast; 1948, with Kraushaar Galleries, New York. 1957, Mr. and Mrs. Alan H. Temple, Scarsdale, N.Y.; descended in family; 1989, Sotheby's, New York, May 24, 1989, lot 150, to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 21, 1989)

    Credit Line

    Emily L. Ainsley Fund, Bequest of Julia C. Prendergast in memory of her brother, James Maurice Prendergast and Gift of Mrs. W. Scott Fitz, by exchange

    Details

    Dimensions

    53.34 x 81.28 cm (21 x 32 in.)

    Accession Number

    1989.228

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • Apollo and the Muses on Mount Helicon

    1680
    Claude Lorrain (Claude Gellée) (French (active in Rome), 1600–1682)

    Description

    Born in the Lorraine region of France, Claude settled early in Italy and spent most of his life painting the countryside around Rome, with its many associations to the ancient world. This painting, done when he was eighty-two years old, represents Apollo, god of poetry and music, surrounded by the nine Muses, goddesses of the creative arts. At the upper right is the winged horse Pegasus, who has kicked a rock to release the spring that is the source of artistic inspiration. Although most of Claude’s paintings included biblical or classical themes, their true subject was the light, atmosphere, and poetic mood of the natural world.

    Inscription

    Lower center: PARNASS[...]PARN[...]SS [...] CL[...]D[...] (indistinct)

    Provenance

    1680, Prince Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna (b. 1637- d. 1689), Rome (original commission); probably until 1789, by descent within the family; 1789, probably sold by the Colonna family, Rome [see note 1]. Acquired in Rome by Robert Sloane (d. 1802); 1803/1804, imported to England by Sloane's widow; 1804, Sloane sale, Mr. Bryan's Picture Gallery, London, bought in; sold privately to William Buchanan (b. 1777 - d. 1864), London; May 24, 1808, Buchanan sale, Oxenden Street, London, lot 7, bought in [see note 2]. Rev. William Holwell Carr (b. 1758 - d. 1830), London (?) [see note 3]. Walsh Porter (d. 1809), Bath (?); sold or passed by descent to Porter's brother-in-law, William Scrope (b. 1772 - d. 1852), Castle Coombe, Wiltshire; June 10, 1815, Scrope sale, Christie, Manson, and Woods, London, lot 10, withdrawn; April 6, 1816, Scrope sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, lot A92, to Bernard Pinney (for Scrope?) [see note 4]. By 1824, possibly Aynard collection, Paris (?) [see note 5]. May 10, 1827, possibly anonymous sale, George Stanley, London, lot 92 (?) [see note 6]. Edward Gray; by 1854, sold by Gray to Wynn Ellis (b. 1790 - d. 1875), London [see note 7]; June 17, 1876, Ellis estate sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, lot 6, to Waters; probably acquired from Waters by William Graham (b. 1817 - d. 1885), Oakdene, near Guildford, Surrey; April 8, 1886, Graham estate sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, lot 376, to William Grindlay (d. by 1887), London; April 23, 1887, posthumous Grindlay sale, Christie, Manson, and Woods, London, lot 99. 1889, Thomas Humphry Ward (b. 1845 - d. 1926), London [see note 8]. June 28, 1890, anonymous sale, Christie, Manson, and Woods, lot 95, to Sir William James Farrer (b. 1845 - d. 1906), London; March 23, 1912, posthumous Farrer sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, lot 5, to Agnew, London (stock no. 3915); April 29, 1912, sold by Agnew to Trotti et Cie., Paris; 1912, sold by Trotti to the MFA for 180 pounds (British sterling). (Accession Date: October 3, 1912) NOTES: [1] See Marcel Röthlisberger, "Claude Lorrain, The Paintings." (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961), vol. 1, no. LV 193, pp. 451-454. Röthlisberger identifies the painting in Filippo III Colonna's 1783 inventory (no. 152) and in a Colonna inventory of 1787 (no. 78). [2] Information on the sales was first provided in a letter to the MFA from Burton Fredericksen (September 6, 1988) and can also be accessed online at the Getty Provenance Index (http://piweb.getty.edu): Description of Sale Catalog Br-273; Description of Sale Catalog Br-587. [3] According to Röthlisberger (as above, n. 1), Carr is recorded as the owner in the inscription found on an aquatint of 1812 and he "probably put up [the painting at auction] under the more famous name of Porter" in 1815 and 1816. Curiously, in discussing the history of the Colonna Parnassus imported by Sloane, Buchanan does not mention it among the paintings he sold in 1808, nor those owned by Porter or Carr, who had been his business partner. See his "Memoirs of Painting" (London, 1824), vol. 2, pp. 112-117. [4] The auction catalogue of 1816 includes it among the paintings that had belonged to Walsh Porter, although unlike the others from his collection, it did not appear in his posthumous sales (April 14, 1810, June 21, 1811). There can be no doubt that this is the MFA painting, however, as its description in the Scrope sales of 1815 and 1816 matches that of the MFA work. According to information provided by the Getty Provenance Index (Description of Sale Catalog Br-1376) this painting was bought in and remained with Scrope until his after his death in 1852. This would make its ownership by Aynard by 1824 impossible. [5] Buchanan (as above, n. 3), pp. 117, 389. [6] It is unclear whether this is the painting now at the MFA. The sale catalogue does not describe the painting, except to say that it is known as the 'Colonna Claude' and it 'is too well known to need description'. It can be assumed that this refers to the MFA composition, although several paintings by Claude Lorrain were in the Colonna collection. The catalogue gives the provenance as Rev. Holwell Carr, Mr. Walsh Porter, and Lord Kinnaird. It has not been indicated elsewhere that the MFA painting was owned by Kinnaird. [7] Gustav Friedrich Waagen, "Treasures of Art of Great Britain," vol. 2 (London, 1854), p. 294, no. 3. [8] According to Rothlisberger (as above, n. 1) he lent the painting to an exhibition at Whitechapel, St. Jude's, 1889, no. 97.

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    99.7 x 136.5 cm (39 1/4 x 53 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.1050

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    William I. Koch Gallery (Gallery 250)

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  • Grand Canal, Venice

    1908
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Venice, Monet had always told his wife, was “too beautiful to paint.” But when he accepted the invitation of an American friend to stay at her rented palazzo on the Grand Canal in 1908, he set to work, turning out thirty-seven canvases over the course of his visit. This view, taken from the boat landing of the Palazzo Barbaro, captures the baroque church of Santa Maria della Salute and its reflection dancing on the water. Unlike many Venetian view painters, Monet showed less interest in representing famous monuments than in capturing the play of light and reflection on the city’s waterways.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Claude Monet 1908

    Provenance

    March 1912, sold by the artist to Bernheim-Jeune, Paris and Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 9992) [see note 1]; from Durand-Ruel, Paris to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 3543); November 1912, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York to Alexander Cochrane (b. 1840 - d. 1919), Boston; 1919, bequest of Alexander Cochrane to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1919) NOTES: [1] The provenance given here is taken from Daniel Wildenstein, "Monet: catalogue raisonné" (1996), vol. 4, p. 809, cat. no. 1738. The painting was included in the exhibition "Monet - Venise," Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, May 28 - June 8, 1912, cat. no. 3.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Alexander Cochrane

    Details

    Dimensions

    73.7 x 92.4 cm (29 x 36 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.171

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Grand Canal, Venice

    1881
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919)

    Description

    When Renoir’s Venetian pictures were first exhibited, one critic called them “the most outrageous series of ferocious daubs that any slanderer of Venice could possibly imagine.” They constituted a radical departure from traditional Venetian vedute—sober view paintings emphasizing the city’s famous monuments. Barely recognizable as the stretch of canal between the Ca’ Foscari palace and the Rialto Bridge, Renoir’s picture dissolves stone façades into a lacy pattern of color no more material than water or clouds.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Renoir. 81.

    Provenance

    May 12, 1882, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 2110) [see note 1]; from Durand-Ruel, Paris to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 2350); July 5, 1889, sold by Durand-Ruel to Alexander Cochrane (b. 1840 - d. 1919), Boston; 1919, bequest of Alexander Cochrane to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1919) NOTES: [1] The provenance was provided in a letter from Durand-Ruel, Paris to the MFA (February 20, 1962; in MFA curatorial file).

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Alexander Cochrane

    Details

    Dimensions

    54 x 65.1 cm (21 1/4 x 25 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.173

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Washerwomen near a Bridge

    1883
    Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: 82 / E. Boudin

    Provenance

    September 13, 1886, entered into the stock of Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 1247); 1888, sold by Durand-Ruel, Paris to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock nos. 25 and 139); March 2, 1894, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York to J. Eastman Chase Gallery, Boston [see note 1]. Clara Bertram Kimball, Boston; by inheritance to her husband, David P. Kimball (d. 1923), Boston; 1923, bequest of David P. Kimball to the MFA [see note 2]. (Accession Date: November 1, 1923) NOTES: [1] This information was kindly provided by Paul-Louis Durand-Ruel of Durand-Ruel et Cie. (January 17, 2013). The painting was first entered into the gallery stock in September 1886, when it was re-purchased (with a number of other paintings) after being used as collateral for loans. The date of the gallery's original purchase of the painting is unknown. [2] In 1923 David P. Kimball bequeathed forty paintings to the MFA in memory of his wife, Clara Bertram Kimball. He noted in his will that these were "from the collection made by her and bequeathed to me."

    Credit Line

    Bequest of David P. Kimball in memory of his wife Clara Bertram Kimball

    Details

    Dimensions

    32 x 41 cm (12 5/8 x 16 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.512

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • The Ponte Vecchio, Florence

    1740–1780
    Circle Of Bernardo Bellotto (Italian (Venetian), 1720–1780)

    Description

    Bellotto studied with his uncle, Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto) beginning about 1735, and his early works are often confused with those of the older master. This view of the picturesque Ponte Vecchio was probably painted during Bellotto’s extensive travels throughout northern Italy before he left the country permanently in 1747.

    Provenance

    Dr. Götz Martius (b. 1853 - d. 1927), Kiel, Germany. By 1922, Bachstitz Gallery, the Hague, the Netherlands; 1925, sold by the Bachstitz Gallery to the MFA for $8500. (Accession Date: January 8, 1925)

    Credit Line

    Maria Antoinette Evans Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    55.9 x 87.6 cm (22 x 34 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.1

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • On a Shaker Theme

    1956
    Charles Sheeler (American, 1883–1965)

    Description

    Showing his deep respect for Shaker design, Sheeler wrote, “The Shaker communities, in the period of their greatest creative activity, have given us abundant evidence of their profound understanding of utilitarian design in their architecture and crafts. They understood and convincingly demonstrated that rightness of proportion in a house or a table, with regard for efficiency in use, made embellishment superfluous,” (Quoted in Constance Rourke, “Charles Sheeler: Artist in the American Tradition,” New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1938). Sheeler probably started collecting Shaker pieces in the 1920s, and began to include his Shaker furniture in paintings of domestic interiors such as “Interior” (1926, Whitney Museum of American Art). In 1934, he visited the Shaker villages in Hancock, Massachusetts and in New Lebanon, New York, where he photographed the Second Meeting House. In the same year he painted his first oil of Shaker architecture, “Shaker Buildings” (private collection), a rendering of the laundry and machine shop in Hancock, which he was to portray in three more paintings, including “On a Shaker Theme.”
    The laundry and machine shop is a three and one half story building constructed in 1790. The structure served as a washhouse, machine house, herb and seed room, and woodshed and thus it exemplified the Shaker principle of maximum utility (Mary Jane Jacob, “The Impact of Shaker Design on the Work of Charles Sheeler,” unpublished M.A. thesis, 1976, quoted in Flo Morse, “The Shakers and the World’s People,” New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1980, p. 138). Over time and subsequent renovations it had acquired a unique shape. Two additions to the original building created interesting relationships of structural angles and forms that especially appealed to Sheeler. He depicted the building a second time in 1941 in “Shaker Detail” (The Newark Museum), showing a closer view but from the same angle as in his 1934 “Shaker Buildings.” His final two paintings of the laundry and machine shop are the Museum’s painting and “On a Shaker Theme #2” (Babcock Galleries), both composite images painted in 1956. While the first two pictures of the laundry and machine shop are straightforward representations, in the last two paintings, Sheeler interpreted the Shaker architecture in his late style, which employs more abstracted forms.
    In 1946, Sheeler had begun to experiment with composite photography as a basis for his paintings. He superimposed photographic negatives, sometimes reversing them, to arrive at evocative compositions. In “On a Shaker Theme,” Sheeler overlaid two images, one slightly smaller and in reverse, of the portion of the laundry and machine shop depicted in “Shaker Detail.” He also radically simplified the details of the building so that windows and doors are reduced to rectangles. Sheeler’s method of overlapping images resulted in a complicated scaffolding of diagonals and verticals. “On a Shaker Theme” celebrates the refined geometric forms that underlie Shaker design, although its compositional intricacy eschews the Shaker virtues of purity and simplicity. This complexity, however, becomes integral to the piece if we consider the title of the painting to be musical - Sheeler had used musical titles starting in 1940 with “Fugue” [40.780] - as in Brahms’s “Variations on a Theme by Haydn.” Some of Brahms’s variations on a simple theme become quite complex with the addition of contrasting but parallel melodic lines played along with the theme. Thus Sheeler took the simple geometric shapes that he admired in Shaker architecture as his theme, and by using composite photography created an intricate tribute to a beloved building.

    Janet Comey

    Inscription

    Lower right: Sheeler-56; Reverse, on backing board: Do not/remove this board./Sheeler.

    Provenance

    The artist; Stephen and Sybil Stone Foundation; to MFA, 1972, gift of the Stephen and Sybil Stone Foundation.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Stephen and Sybil Stone Foundation

    Details

    Dimensions

    58.42 x 73.98 cm (23 x 29 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1972.61

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Fugue

    1940
    Charles Sheeler (American, 1883–1965)

    Description

    Charles Sheeler’s precise painting style, informed by his sharply-focused photography, was well-suited to record the American industrial boom during the first half of the twentieth century, and he benefitted from several corporate commissions. Late in 1938 Sheeler received a request from “Fortune” to paint a series of pictures on the theme of “power.” The resulting images were to be reproduced in the magazine. He traveled extensively in 1939-40, seeking subjects for the paintings, and during this time he visited a small power plant in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the scene of “Fugue.” The painting was one of the first pictures Sheeler made after completing his six well-known compositions for the magazine. “I was on a motor trip though New England and in passing through New Bedford in the late afternoon I came upon this subject unexpectedly,” he wrote. “It was a breath-taking sight. I walked around it for several hours.” (Sheeler to W. G. Constable, Curator of Paintings, December 20, 1940, Art of the Americas files, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). The plant, no longer standing, supplied power for the city’s electric trolleys.
    Sheeler made several different photographs of the site from a neighboring park and later selected one of his pictures (The Lane Collection) as his model for “Fugue.” In the painting, he faithfully rendered the facts of the scene but eliminated many incidental details recorded in the photograph, among them a chain-link fence that ran behind the barrels, guy wires which supported the chimneys and smokestacks, and the thick black smoke that issued from the stacks. He chose instead to emphasize the formal aspects of the composition: the stately rhythm of the smokestacks and the play of their cylindrical forms with those of the tank, barrels, and utility poles below; the elegant checkered patterning of the small windowpanes; and the orderly configuration of the gray corrugated siding of the central shed.
    The conscientious repetition of like forms in the painting presumably inspired Sheeler’s title, for a fugue is a musical composition in which a theme is introduced by one voice and then repeated and developed by other voices into a well-defined whole. The constant overlapping of forms in a fugue is here realized in visual terms. Each structure is flattened and superimposed upon the next, creating a band of design across the picture’s surface and emphasizing two-dimensional pattern rather than spatial recession. This purposeful control is reiterated by Sheeler’s choice of a small brush and the tempera medium, whose quick-drying properties require the careful use of deliberate strokes. “Fugue” is the first of several compositions of the 1940s with musical titles, including “Improvisations” (1945, The Lane Collection) and “Counterpoint” (1949, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.).
    “Fugue” was first exhibited, along with recent works by other artists, at the Downtown Gallery’s inaugural show in its new 51st Street location in New York City. Reviewers admired its exactness and its crisp, cool palette (Jeanette Lowe, “51st Street Becomes Downtown,” “Art News,” vol. 39, October 19, 1940, p. 12). It was immediately purchased by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (the only modernist painting the museum bought that year), where it joined “View of New York” (35.69). Sheeler continued to be inspired by this functional, unornamented building with its rhythmic grouping of smokestacks, and painted two other canvases based upon it: “Fugue” (1945, Regis Collection, Minneapolis) and “Stacks in Celebration” (1954, Dayton Art Institute).

    This text was adapted by Janet Comey from Carol Troyen and Erica E. Hirshler, “Charles Sheeler: Paintings and Drawings” (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1987).

    Inscription

    Lower right: Sheeler-1940; Reverse: Tempera Painting on Gesso./Charles Sheeler-1940

    Provenance

    The artist; with The Downtown Gallery, New York; to MFA, 1940, purchased for $500.

    Credit Line

    Arthur Mason Knapp Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    35.56 x 43.18 cm (14 x 17 in.)

    Accession Number

    40.780

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera and graphite on gessoed Masonite

    Not On View

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  • Drug Store

    1927
    Edward Hopper (American, 1882–1967)

    Description

    Edward Hopper was one of the most important observers of the American scene beginning in the 1920s. Although Hopper had been a student of Robert Henri [http://www.mfa.org/search/collections?artist=Robert%20Earle%20Henri] in New York and was familiar with the busy urban realist scenes of the Ashcan School of painters, he focused his own imagery on the alienation of modern life. He often portrayed solitary and isolated figures that seem to be aching with loneliness or multiple figures that do not interact. Hopper also recorded architectural scenes, both rural and urban, instilling each with a similar feeling of abandonment; he chronicled the ravages of the Depression by depicting forsaken farms and “For Sale” signs on suburban streets.
    In 1927 Hopper delivered a painting entitled Ex Lax—Drug Store to his dealer Frank K. M. Rehn in New York City. Peggy Rehn, the dealer’s wife, felt that the allusion to a laxative was indelicate, and Hopper was persuaded to change the second X to a C, which he did in watercolor. Shortly thereafter, however, John T. Spaulding, a Boston lawyer and collector who favored bold images, bought the painting for $1,500 and encouraged Hopper to restore the product name. Now known as Drug Store, the painting is one of Hopper’s early masterpieces. Many of the themes and devices seen in his later work are evident in this striking picture.

    In Drug Store Hopper utilized the brilliance of electric light, his love of architectural features, and his sense of drama to convey eerie nocturnal solitude. In many of his nighttime paintings, dazzling light streams from a window surrounded by darkness. Here the bright lights within the pharmacy, the light over the door, and the unseen street lamp combine to produce geometric designs on the pavement and to illuminate architectural elements. In this late-night scene of the then-ubiquitous corner drug store, Hopper’s New York City is deserted and ominously silent. No people stroll along the sidewalk. No cars crowd the street. The sense of danger lurking in the shadows negates the welcome of the brightly lit window.

    As he did in many of his urban paintings, Hopper chose to depict a street corner building—Silbers Pharmacy is seen from a slightly oblique angle. Hopper explores the repeating rectangles of curbing, building, storefront, and signs, and uses bold lettering to punctuate his formal design. The window of this independent drug store displays red and green apothecary bottles, like the running lights of ships in the dark. The patriotic colors of the red, white, and blue window decorations are a reminder that Hopper consistently identified himself with such quintessentially American subjects—the stores, diners, offices, and apartments frequented by ordinary citizens. However, the pride of patriotism is tempered here by the brazen advertisement of a well-known laxative.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower right: EDWARD HOPPER

    Provenance

    1927, the artist; before 1933, sold by the artist to John T. Spaulding, Boston, through the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery, N. Y.; 1948, bequest of John T. Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    Unframed: 73.7 x 101.9 cm (29 x 40 1/8 in.) Framed: 83.8 x 111.8 x 8.3 cm (33 x 44 x 3 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.564

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Out on Loan

    On display at Basilica Palladiana, Vicenza, December 24, 2014 – June 2, 2015

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  • Italo-American Celebration, Washington Square

    about 1912
    William James Glackens (American, 1870–1938)

    Description

    After studying at the Pennsylvania Academy at night and making his living with John Sloan, George Luks, and Everett Shinn as an illustrator at The Philadelphia Press, William James Glackens continued his artistic education abroad. Cycling through Northern Europe with Robert Henri in 1895, Glackens returned to Paris, where he had ample opportunity to study French painters, particularly the works of Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and Auguste Renoir, whom he greatly admired. Although he shared Henri’s passion for the dark palette of Manet, by the time he painted this work Glackens had adopted the lighter tones and loose brushwork of Renoir.

    Glackens established himself in New York City by 1896, and in 1910 he began a series of paintings depicting the Washington Square area. By then the park represented the demarcation between the old and new communities of New York. Some of the most prominent New York families who traced their ancestry to the seventeenth-century Dutch settlers still resided in the brick townhouses along the north side of the square, which are visible through the trees on the right. However, the less fashionable neighborhoods around Washington Square attracted newly arrived immigrants who worked in the factories and sweatshops nearby and also artists (including Glackens) who were drawn to the bohemian lifestyle of the district.

    When Glackens painted this scene of the parade celebrating Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America, Italian-Americans formed the largest immigrant population in Manhattan. Columbus became a role model for many ethnic and religious groups, and Glackens suggests the international flavor of the celebration by painting a variety of flags visible through Washington Square Arch. The juxtaposition of the Old World and the New is further enhanced by the prominence of the Italian and American flags standing side by side in the lower foreground. The American dream of rapid transformation from immigrant to respected community leader is suggested by the modestly dressed onlookers who observe both the decorated men in top hats seated under the arch and those successful citizens spirited away above the throng in a carriage. Rendered with lively brushwork to enhance the festive and breezy atmosphere, the composition presents a distinctly American spectacle of Italian-American revelers and their pride of place in the urban scene.

    This text was adapted from Davis, et al., MFA Highlights: American Painting (Boston, 2003) available at www.mfashop.com/mfa-publications.html.

    Inscription

    Lower left: W. Glackens

    Provenance

    The artist; to Ira Glackens, New York, his son, upon the artist's death, 1938; with Kraushaar Galleries, New York, by 1949; to Joseph Katz, Baltimore, 1957; with Hirschl and Adler, New York, by 1959; to MFA, 1959, purchase.

    Credit Line

    Emily L. Ainsley Fund

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    65.4 x 81.28 cm (25 3/4 x 32 in.)

    Accession Number

    59.658

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Ore Into Iron

    1953
    Charles Sheeler (American, 1883–1965)

    Description

    Sheeler first turned to American industry for his subject matter when he received an important commission to photograph the Ford Motor Company plant in River Rouge, Michigan, in 1927. His resulting images of industrial architecture and machinery brought acclaim, and Sheeler came to admire the functional, utilitarian beauty of industrial design. He continued to paint and photograph it throughout his career, using its familiar vocabulary to explore each of his new stylistic interests. Ore into Iron displays the fascination with overlapping, transparent planes that Sheeler developed in the last decade of his career. When it was first exhibited in New York in 1956, this painting was described as “so complex in its mingling of factual suggestion and abstract distortion that it’s practically dazzling.” [1]

    Ore into Iron depicts the blast furnaces of the U.S. Steel plant in Pittsburgh, which Sheeler visited in 1952. He took several photographs of the plant, selecting a low vantage point that made the furnaces appear to soar into the air in the same manner as the New York skyscrapers he had been studying. He later experimented with his photographic negatives in the darkroom, reversing and superimposing them and making composite prints. Ore into Iron was modeled after a relatively simple composite print (Blast Furnaces, U.S. Steel, Pittsburgh, 1952, The Lane Collection[JMS1] ) in which the same scene appears twice, once frontward and once in reverse. Aerial Gyrations (1953, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) is a companion piece to Ore into Iron; it was based on the same photographs in a different combination. Four years later, Sheeler depicted the subject matter again in Continuity (location unknown). [2] All three pictures have related studies in tempera on paper and in tempera on Plexiglas.

    Sheeler undermines the massive bulk of the heavy machinery by rendering it with an extremely delicate touch: the paint is applied thinly and precisely, and is confined to discrete areas by neatly drawn pencil outlines. Color enhances the airy, light effect, as the deep violet-blue used for the one image blends into the pinkish brown of the other. Large opaque areas of pigment at the bottom of the composition become translucent at the center and top. The outlines of the furnaces and catwalks meld into one another, their function succumbing to intricate pattern. Dense at the bottom of the picture and more delicate at the top, the forms of the blast furnaces become ethereal.

    The total effect is almost cinematic, for one image appears to be fading into another, dissolving and reforming on the surface of the canvas, just as ore is smelted into iron in the blast furnaces portrayed here. Sheeler’s title, explaining the physical process he is showing, is unusual in its descriptiveness. But he addresses more than this industrial transformation; he explores an aesthetic metamorphosis as well. Here factory forms are translated into artistic ones, photography becomes painting, and reality turns into abstraction.

    Notes
    1. Robert M. Coates, “The Art Galleries: Gauguin and Sheeler,” The New Yorker, April 14, 1956, 112.
    2. Sotheby’s New York, American Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture, May 24, 1989, Lot 00233.

    This text was adapted from Carol Troyen and Erica E. Hirshler, Charles Sheeler: Paintings and Drawings (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1987).

    [JMS1]L-R 2571.2001. Include as supplemental illustration, if possible. Karen Haas in PDP can advise on rights.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Sheeler-1953; Reverse, on backing board: Charles Sheeler/1953-/Do not remove this board.

    Provenance

    1953, with Downtown Gallery, New York; 1953, sold by the Downtown Gallery to William H. Lane (1914-1995); 1990, partial purchase and gift of William H. and Saundra B. Lane to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 27, 1990)

    Credit Line

    Gift of William H. and Saundra B. Lane and Henry H. and Zoe Oliver Sherman Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.28 x 46.04 cm (24 1/8 x 18 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1990.381

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • New England Irrelevancies

    1953
    Charles Sheeler (American, 1883–1965)

    Description

    In 1946, Charles Sheeler spent six weeks as artist in residence at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts. Two years later, he visited the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, for two weeks, again as artist in residence. Although Sheeler, who was in his sixties, was respected and nationally recognized, he was then garnering less attention from the galleries and art press than the ascendant Abstract Expressionists. These brief sojourns reinvigorated him. During his visits, Sheeler photographed a decrepit woolen mill building in Ballardvale, on the outskirts of Andover, and the abandoned textile mills of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in Manchester. These decayed buildings inspired new ideas, and between 1946 and 1953 Sheeler produced over twenty images in oil, tempera, ink wash, and Conté crayon based upon either Ballardvale or the Amoskeag mills. These culminated in New England Irrelevancies, which combines forms from both sites.
    The title of this painting presumably alludes to the once-impressive buildings and prosperous industries that had dominated Andover and Manchester but were now obsolete. The sense of the buildings’ irrelevance may have struck Sheeler personally, too: by the time he completed this painting, he was seventy years old and remote from the artistic mainstream. However, New England Irrelevancies is far from grim or moribund. Painted in the opalescent hues that give so many of Sheeler’s industrial subjects an astonishing optimism, the picture shows these dilapidated nineteenth-century mill buildings as though they were vibrant contemporary skyscrapers.

    Sheeler worked out the composition of New England Irrelevancies by superimposing, manipulating, and printing several photographic negatives he had taken at Manchester and Ballardvale. He planned the composition in a small study of the same title using tempera on glass (1953, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts). In the left half, Sheeler reintroduced the forms of his painting Ballardvale (1946, Addison Gallery of American Art). The right half reflects in reverse one of his photographs of Manchester, Millyard Passage, Manchester, New Hampshire (possibly 1949, gelatin silver print, The Lane Collection)[JMS1] . That image features fire escapes climbing the facades of buildings; in New England Irrelevancies the fire escapes are absent and the buildings are represented only as wedges of color. The two flat, sliced-off squares in maroon and purple near the center of the painting are in fact two small buildings, one behind the other, dwarfed by the steep walls of the mills on either side. The snaky form emanating from the ladder at center is the outline of a change in the pattern of the cobblestones on the mill yard floor. The composition is highly energized—quite different from the relative placidity of Sheeler’s other mill pictures. The overlapping shapes and shadows, skewed angle of vision, and ruthless cropping create an animated, somewhat disorienting picture.

    Sheeler’s process of arriving at a composition by superimposing photographic images solved an important expressive problem. The artist believed that our understanding of the natural order is based not on immediate observation alone but on observation combined with visual memory. Photography was the ideal medium for linking the memory and the present perception: it preserved details, of course, and in Sheeler’s innovative use of the medium, it could weld together in physical form two experiences linked in the mind, as Manchester and Ballardvale were for him. New England Irrelevancies, with its combination of images that Sheeler had used before and its evocation of the skyscrapers he had recently photographed, not only preserved the memory of the two mill towns but brought them, at least pictorially, into the present.

    This text was adapted and expanded by Janet L. Comey from Carol Troyen and Erica E. Hirshler, Charles Sheeler: Paintings and Drawings, exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1987).

    [JMS1]L-R 3146.2001. Include as supplemental illustration, if possible. Karen Haas in PDP can advise on rights.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Sheeler 1953.; Reverse: Charles Sheeler-1953; on backing board: Charles Sheeler/1953/Do not remove this board

    Provenance

    1953, with Downtown Gallery, New York; 1953, sold by the Downtown Gallery to William H. Lane (1914-1995); 1990, partial purchase and gift of William H. and Saundra B. Lane to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 27, 1990)

    Credit Line

    Gift of William H. and Saundra B. Lane and Henry H. and Zoe Oliver Sherman Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    73.66 x 58.42 cm (29 x 23 in.)

    Accession Number

    1990.382

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Saundra and William H. Lane Galleries (Gallery 334)

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  • Maitland Bridge #2

    1938
    Ralston Crawford (American (born in Canada), 1906–1978)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: RALSTON CRAWFORD; Reverse: Maitland Bridge. Ralston Crawford

    Provenance

    The artist; Grace Borgenicht Gallery, New York; to William H. Lane Foundation, 1957; to MFA, 1990, gift of the William H. Lane Foundation.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the William H. Lane Foundation

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    101.92 x 81.91 cm (40 1/8 x 32 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1990.389

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Bay of Naples

    about 1830
    Robert Walter Weir (American, 1803–1889)

    Description

    At the age of twenty-one, with the help of patrons John Delafield of New York and Henry Carey of Philadelphia, Weir set sail for Livorno, Italy, on December 15, 1824. He stayed first in Florence for a year, studying briefly with Pietro Benvenuti, one of Italy’s leading neoclassical painters. In December 1825, he moved to Rome, where he shared lodgings with the American sculptor Horatio Greenough [92.2642, 1973.601]. Weir drew from the antique at the French Academy in Rome; copied Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian at the Vatican and in private collections; and sketched the classical ruins and surrounding countryside. In January 1827, he traveled to Naples. Greenough arrived soon after, but became ill with malaria. Though Weir nursed his countryman, Greenough did not recover his health; in late March, Weir sacrificed his plans for further travels in Italy to accompany the sculptor back to the United States. Weir never returned to Europe, but he had made sufficient water color sketches and ink drawings to supply him with material for paintings for the next fifty years.
    Weir’s Bay of Naples was completed soon after his return. His vantage point was probably in the vicinity of the Camaldoli Monastery, situated on the highest point in the city. George Hillard, in his travel book Six Months in Italy (1853), called the view from this spot the most beautiful he had ever seen. The artist Sanford Robinson Gifford [64.428] had described its “magnificent panorama, rich in natural beauty and classical associations” and “the broad bay with long sweeping lines of Vesuvius.”[1]Another traveler wrote:
    [Block quote]
    I had seated myself on the brow of the eminence whence the fathers of the Camaldoli look down on the fairy scene below. And how beautiful was that scene! The sun had not yet sunk into the ocean, but the brightness of his rays was lost in the rich red glare of a vast but thin cloud, through which they seemed to be diffused. The purple light was spread over the bay … a thousand skiffs were waiting to catch the lazy breeze, or stealing silently along. [2]
    [/Block quote]

    In Weir’s painting, Mount Vesuvius, which had erupted as recently as 1822, appears at center. The domes of the city of Naples are visible in front of the volcano, and the island fortress of Castello dell’Ovo [47.1196] juts out into the bay. Dark shadows in the foreground heighten the effect of the bright light on the monastery buildings and the haze enveloping Vesuvius. Monks, sheep, and visitors, as typical regional subjects, serve to reinforce the “Italian” nature of the scene. Soon after Weir’s visit, other American artists working in Italy, among them Thomas Cole [47.1198], would also include such figures to enliven a landscape. The characteristically Italian umbrella-shaped stone pine [47.1247] that frames the scene also helps to identify the setting as Mediterranean. Although the early history of Weir’s panel is unknown, Bay of Naples must have reminded its original owners of one of the most beautiful panoramas in the world, rendered by one of the first American artists lured by the splendor of Italy.

    Aside from Italian scenes, Weir also painted historical, literary [48.486], and religious works, portraits, landscapes, and genre scenes; he is best known for his large painting Embarkation of the Pilgrims, which was installed in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in 1843. Weir spent forty-two years as instructor of drawing at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where his students included James Abbott McNeill Whistler [42.302], Robert E. Lee, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Ulysses S. Grant. He is the father of artists John Ferguson Weir [23.162] and Julian Alden Weir [47.1289].

    Notes
    1. Sanford R. Gifford, “European Letters,”March 10, 1856–August 10, 1857, typescript, vol. 2, pp. 154–55, Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art, Washington, D.C.
    2. “Ischia and Procida, from the Camaldoli, Recollections of a Solitary Traveller,” in The Atlantic Souvenir (Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Carey, 1828), 314.

    Janet L. Comey

    Provenance

    Before 1973, private collection, Chicago; about 1973, with Renee Andre, Phoenix, Ariz.; 1993, sold by Renee Andre to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 24, 1993)

    Credit Line

    Emily L. Ainsley Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    33.02 x 50.8 cm (13 x 20 in.)

    Accession Number

    1993.71

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    Penny and Jeff Vinik Gallery (Gallery 233)

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  • Church of Le Sacré-Coeur, from rue Saint-Rustique

    Maurice Utrillo (French, 1883–1955)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Sacre Coeur de Montmartre, / et rue Saint-Rustique

    Provenance

    February 4, 1938, sold by French Art Galleries, New York, to John Taylor Spaulding, Boston, MA (d. 1948); 1948, bequest of Spaulding. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Copyright

    © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

    Details

    Dimensions

    49.8 x 61 cm (19 5/8 x 24 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.607

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Contemporary Art, Europe

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  • An Old Time Fishing Village

    about 1926

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: H A VINCENT—; Reverse: An Old Time Fishing Village

    Provenance

    The artist; John T. Spaulding; to MFA, 1948, bequest of John T. Spaulding.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    55.88 x 71.12 cm (22 x 28 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.610

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Naples Afternoon

    about 1948
    William Grosvenor Congdon (American, 1912–1998)

    Description

    Signed

    Provenance

    The artist; with Betty Parsons Gallery, 15 East 57th Street, New York, NY; purchased by MFA, May 1950.

    Credit Line

    Anonymous Fund

    Copyright

    © The William G. Congdon Foundation

    Details

    Dimensions

    53.02 x 34.92 cm (20 7/8 x 13 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    50.2417

    Medium or Technique

    Oil and gold leaf on plywood

    Not On View

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  • Pigeons

    1910
    John Sloan (American, 1871–1951 American)

    Description

    After attending Central High School in Philadelphia, John Sloan taught himself etching and by 1891 was making his living as a commercial illustrator. While a full-time staff artist for the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1892, Sloan began taking drawing classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he met Robert Henri [http://www.mfa.org/search/collections?artist=Robert%20Earle%20Henri], who encouraged him (as well as William James Glackens [http://www.mfa.org/search/collections?artist=William%20James%20Glackens], Everett Shinn [http://www.mfa.org/search/collections?artist=Everett%20Shinn], and George Luks [http://www.mfa.org/search/collections?artist=George%20Benjamin%20Luks]) to take up painting. Sloan stubbornly refused to travel to Europe with the others, and remained in Philadelphia until in 1903 he joined his colleagues in New York City.
    From the vantage point of his studio on West 23rd Street, Sloan worked in a range of media to depict the scenes of daily life he witnessed on the rooftops. Etchings like Roofs, Summer Night (1906) and Love on the Roof (1914) and paintings such as Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair (1912, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts) convey a sense of the freedom and escape the roofs provided from the suffocating confines of New York tenement living. Here Sloan depicts the then popular pastime of raising pigeons, which were let loose daily to fly for exercise. Witnessed by their trainer and a young boy perched on the tenement wall, the birds circling above seem to give visual expression to the men’s dreams of a flight of fancy high above the city.

    Sloan described his desire to capture the golden light of evening that illuminates the skyline so brilliantly, an interest reminiscent of the French Impressionists’ concern with effects of light at different times of day. He noted that the fleeting quality of light before sunset was present for only twenty minutes and recalled interrupting his work each day to achieve the warm orange “pre-sunset glow.” [1] The dwindling daylight suggests the passage of time; in similar fashion, New York’s skyline delineates the transformation of the urban scene at the dawn of the new century. At the right a church steeple is clearly visible, and illuminated behind the pigeon trainer, the construction of Pennsylvania Station appears. The new building was symbolically replacing the old—a modern temple of progress in the rapidly expanding city.

    Notes
    1. John Sloan, diary entry, February 7, 1910, quoted in Bruce St. John, ed., John Sloan’s New York Scene from the Diaries, Notes and Correspondence 1906–1913 (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 384.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower right: John Sloan/1910; Reverse: Pigeons/John Sloan

    Provenance

    1910, the artist; 1935, sold by the artist to the MFA for $2,000. (Accession Date: February 7, 1935)

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    66.36 x 81.28 cm (26 1/8 x 32 in.)

    Accession Number

    35.52

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Melvin Blake and Frank Purnell Gallery (Gallery 327)

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  • Port Jefferson, Long Island

    1920s

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Dickinson

    Provenance

    The artist; John T. Spaulding, Boston, by 1930; to MFA, 1948, bequest of John T. Spaulding.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    57.47 x 43.81 cm (22 5/8 x 17 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.539

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel on paper mounted on paperboard

    Not On View

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  • Fountain of Trevi, Rome

    Giovanni Paolo Pannini (Italian (Roman), 1691–1765)

    Description

    Provenance

    1926, A.S. Drey, Munich; 1926, sold by Drey to M. Knoedler & Co., London (Knoedler stock no. 16461); 1927, sold by Knoedler to Jay Cooke; 1938, sold by Cooke back to Knoedler; 1940, sold by Knoedler to Miss Lucy Turman Aldrich (d. 1955), Boston; 1955, by inheritance to her brother, William Truman Aldrich, Brookline, MA; 1957, gift of Aldrich to the MFA. (Accession date: January 10, 1957)

    Credit Line

    Gift of William Truman Aldrich

    Details

    Dimensions

    50.2 x 64.8 cm (19 3/4 x 25 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    57.66

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Robert and Ruth Remis Gallery (Gallery 244)

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    Europe

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  • Noontime, St. Botolph Street, Boston

    about 1923
    George Benjamin Luks (American, 1866–1933)

    Description

    George Luks, a realist painter associated with Robert Henri and the Ashcan school, chose the crowded streets of New York City, and the urban and rural poor as his subjects. He is noted for his broadly-brushed paintings of miners, elderly women, immigrant children, and wrestlers (see 45.9). In a lesser-known chapter of his life, Luks painted more than a dozen oils and watercolors during an extended visit to Boston in 1922 and 1923. He was the guest of a former student, Margarett Sargent McKean, a cousin of John Singer Sargent and an aspiring artist. Margarett Sargent had been an apprentice of sculptor Gutzon Borglum in 1917, when she met Luks and began to study painting with him. By the late 1920s, she was painting strikingly modernist oils and began to exhibit her work at Kraushaar Galleries in New York.

    In 1922 Luks, fresh from a sanitarium where he was recovering from a bout with alcohol and recently divorced from his second wife, visited Sargent. By this time she was married to Quincy Adams Shaw McKean, a private banker in Boston. She later recalled that Luks had come to visit her for a weekend, but had stayed for almost a year. Not only did McKean provide living quarters for Luks, she also allowed him the use of her studio at 30 St. Botolph Street and organized an exhibition of his work in her summer home in Beverly, Massachusetts.

    McKean remembered that Luks disdained the Boston painters who remained in their prim studios painting hired nude models. He exclaimed, “Why didn’t they look at Beacon Hill, Commonwealth Avenue, the Swan Boats, fruit vendors on Charles Street, the squalor of St. Botolph Street and the vigorous L. Street Brownies?” (Margarett Sargent McKean, “George Luks,” Boston: Joan Peterson Gallery, 1966, brochure in MFA American paintings files). Luks threw himself into painting these subjects in Boston (see 60.538 and 1979.263). In “Noontime, St. Botolph Street, Boston,” he depicted the scene outside Margarett’s studio at midday when the shadows cast by the awnings were very pronounced against the old-fashioned bow-front facades of the buildings. These elliptical bays protruding from the structures on St. Botolph Street and elsewhere in the Back Bay and the South End were constructed beginning in the 1840s. They were peculiar to Boston and almost unknown in Luks’s New York City. St. Botolph Street is situated between the Back Bay and South End sections of Boston. Laid out in the early 1880s, St. Botolph Street initially attracted middleclass residents. By the early 1920s when Luks was painting in the area, most of the middleclass families had moved to the suburbs, the neighborhood had become more Bohemian, and many of the townhouses had been turned into lodging houses.

    In addition to painting the striped awnings against the yellow- and red-brick facades on St. Botolph Street, Luks also included an iceman carrying a block of ice with tongs. To the left is probably a part of the ice wagon’s wheel. Before refrigerators were introduced into most homes in the 1930s, food was stored in iceboxes, and blocks of ice were delivered door to door by an iceman. Luks’s inclusion of this unglamorous figure was typical of the Ashcan school artists, who made working people, from longshoremen to scrubwomen, the subjects of their pictures. Luks painted a related work entitled “St. Botolph Street,” depicting women sitting on their stoops socializing on a summer’s evening (“Skinner: American and European Paintings,” May 8, 1998, lot 220).

    Margarett Sargent McKean and her husband acquired many of Luks’s Boston paintings, including “Noontime, St. Botolph Street, Boston.” In 1960 the Museum purchased two of Luks’s Boston pictures, the present painting and “View of Beacon Street from Boston Common” (60.538).

    Janet Comey

    Inscription

    Lower right: George Luks

    Provenance

    The artist; Mr. and Mrs. Quincy Adams Shaw McKean, Boston, about 1923; to MFA, 1960, purchase.

    Credit Line

    Emily L. Ainsley Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    76.83 x 64.13 cm (30 1/4 x 25 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    60.537

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info

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