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MFA Images: Country Life

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  • Ile-de-Vaux on the Oise near Auvers

    1876
    Charles François Daubigny (French, 1817–1878)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Daubigny 1876

    Provenance

    May 12, 1883, purchased by Goupil et Cie., Paris; March 18, 1885, sold by Goupil to Galerie Georges Petit, Paris [see note 1]; September 25, 1885, sold by Georges Petit to M. Knoedler and Co., New York (stock no. 4919); April 13, 1886, sold by Knoedler to J. Eastman Chase Gallery, Boston [see note 2], for Clara Bertram Kimball, Boston; by inheritance to her husband, David P. Kimball (d. 1923), Boston; 1923, bequest of Mrs. David P. Kimball to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 6, 1923) NOTES: [1] Getty Provenance Index, Goupil et Cie. Records, PI record G-25666 (stock book 11, no. 16605, p. 75). [2] This information comes from a letter from Lelia Wittler of Knoedler and Co. to Charles C. Cunningham of the MFA (March 6, 1941; in MFA curatorial file). Also see Getty Provenance Index, M. Knoedler and Co. Records, PI record K-10075 (stock book 4, no. 4919, p. 42). www.getty.edu/research/tools/provenance On the reverse of the painting, in pencil, is a number identified by former curator Charles C. Cunningham as possibly the mark of Samuel Putnam Avery (b. 1822 - d. 1904), a New York art dealer. It is not known for certain whether his gallery is associated with this stock number, or whether it played a role in the importation and sale of this painting. Another mark on the reverse is tentatively identified as coming from Vose Galleries, Boston, but this has not been verified.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. David P. Kimball

    Details

    Dimensions

    40.6 x 68.6 cm (16 x 27 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.400

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Evening at Saint-Privé

    1890
    Henri Joseph Harpignies (French, 1819–1916)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: hjharpignies 90.

    Provenance

    May 24, 1901, sold by Obach and Co., London, to M. Knoedler and Co., London and New York (stock no. 9461); February 12, 1903, sold by Knoedler to Morris J. Hirsch, London; May 12, 1903, sold by Hirsch to Knoedler (stock no. 10284); March 17, 1904, sold by Knoedler to Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow (b. 1845 - d. 1921), Boston [see note 1]; 1923, bequest of Longfellow to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 1, 1923) NOTES: [1] Information about the Knoedler transactions is taken from the Getty Provenance Index, M. Knoedler and Co. records, PI numbers K-17446 and K-11657 (stock book 5, no. 9461, p. 45 and no. 10284, p. 85). www.getty.edu/research/tools/provenance

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow

    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Accession Number

    23.486

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Gathering Wood in the Forest of Fontainebleau

    about 1850–60
    Théodore Rousseau (French, 1812–1867)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: T H. Rousseau

    Provenance

    Possibly with Samuel Putnam Avery (b. 1822 - d. 1904), New York [see note 1]. Possibly with Vose Galleries, Boston [see note 2]. Clara Bertram Kimball, Boston; by inheritance to her husband, David P. Kimball (d. 1923), Boston [see note 3]; 1923, bequest of Mrs. David P. Kimball to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 6, 1923) NOTES: [1] On the reverse of the painting, in pencil, is a number identified by Charles C. Cunningham as possibly the mark of Samuel Putnam Avery (b. 1822 - d. 1904), a New York art dealer. It is not known for certain whether his gallery is associated with this stock number, or whether it played a role in the importation and sale of this painting. [2] On the reverse of the painting is mark identified by Cunningham (as above, n. 1) as possibly coming from Vose Galleries, Boston, but this has not been verified. [3] David P. Kimball first lent this painting to the MFA in 1921.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. David P. Kimball

    Details

    Dimensions

    54.6 x 65.4 cm (21 1/2 x 25 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.399

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • View of Triel

    1865
    Paul Camille Guigou (French, 1834–1871)

    Description

    Provenance

    By about 1920 - Stephen Bourgeois, (Köln, Deutschland; New York, NY, USA) [address: 66 E. 94th St.]. - 1922 Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, from Bourgeois?; 1922 - Boston, MA, USA. Museum of Fine Arts (gift of Coomaraswamy) (Accession date: October 5, 1922)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

    Details

    Dimensions

    28.6 x 45.7 cm (11 1/4 x 18 in.)

    Accession Number

    22.669

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Fisherman's Cottage on the Cliffs at Varengeville

    1882
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Summertime often drew Monet to the English Channel coast, and in 1881 and 1882 he explored the area around Dieppe, situated about ninety-six kilometers to the east along the coast from Le Havre. For the purpose of giving focus to the scenes he painted in Pourville and Varengeville, west of Dieppe, Monet liked the stone cabins that had been built during the Napoleonic era as posts from which to observe coastal traffic. In Monet’s day they were used by fishermen for storage. The door and flanking windows anthropomorphize the cottage, giving it a nose and two eyes. We may see the cottage, but we cannot reach it, for there is no path. Indeed, all we can do is admire the view out to sea. The Channel, dotted with recreational yachts, sparkles in the distance. The cottage, especially its roof, is given an orange hue, which it may truly have possessed but which makes a striking contrast of complementaries with the blue of the water on the horizon.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 1882

    Provenance

    October 1882, possibly sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 1]; August 1883, possibly sold by Durand-Ruel to Galerie Georges Petit, Paris. 1890, Georges de Porto-Riche (b. 1849 - d. 1930), Paris; May 14, 1890, Porto-Riche sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, lot 22, to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 357); July 4, 1890, sold by Durand-Ruel to Annette (Anna) Perkins Rogers (b. 1840 - d. 1920), Boston; 1921, bequest of Anna Perkins Rogers to the MFA. (Accession Date: July 7, 1921) NOTES: [1] The provenance given here (through 1890) is taken from Daniel Wildenstein, "Monet: catalogue raisonné" (1996), vol. 2, pp. 299-300, cat. no. 808.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Anna Perkins Rogers

    Details

    Dimensions

    60.6 x 81.6 cm (23 7/8 x 32 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    21.1331

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Last Rays of Sun on a Field of Sainfoin

    about 1870
    Antoine Chintreuil (French, 1814–1873)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Chintreuil

    Provenance

    By 1870 until at least 1874, Mr. Fassin, Reims [see note 1]. By 1889, Dr. Charles Goddard Weld (b. 1857 - d. 1911), Boston [see note 2]; by inheritance to his widow, Mrs. Charles Goddard Weld (d. 1922), Boston; 1922, bequest of Mrs. Charles Goddard Weld to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 2, 1922) NOTES: [1] Mr. Fassin lent the painting back to the artist to exhibit at the 1870 Salon, and he lent it to the exhibition "Tableaux, études et dessins de Chintreuil," Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, April 25 - May 15, 1874, no. 208. [2] He first lent the painting to the MFA in 1889.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Charles Goddard Weld

    Details

    Dimensions

    95.9 x 134 cm (37 3/4 x 52 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    22.78

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Salmon Fishing

    1927
    Frank Weston Benson (American, 1862–1951)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: F.W. Benson./'27

    Provenance

    1927, gift of the Friends of the Museum to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 3, 1927)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Friends of the Museum

    Details

    Dimensions

    91.76 x 112.08 cm (36 1/8 x 44 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    27.574

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Waterworks at Marly

    about 1876
    Alfred Sisley (British (active in France), 1839–1899)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Sisley

    Provenance

    Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York [see note 1]. By about 1915, William Simes (b. about 1844 - d. 1927), Boston [see note 2]; by descent to his daughter, Olive Simes (b. 1882 - d. 1971), Boston; 1945, gift of Miss Olive Simes to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 6, 1945) NOTES: [1] See François Daulte, "Alfred Sisley: catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint" (Lausanne, 1959), cat. no. 216. [2] In a letter from Olive Simes to the MFA (September 12, 1945; in MFA curatorial file), she writes of the painting that "my father, William Simes, bought it at least thirty years ago, but I do not remember where."

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Olive Simes

    Details

    Dimensions

    46.5 x 61.8 cm (18 5/16 x 24 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    45.662

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Cayambe

    1858
    Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900)

    Description

    Frederic Church achieved great renown in the nineteenth century for his heroic landscape paintings, among them Heart of the Andes (1859, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), in which he combined on a ten-foot (three-meter) canvas details of lush vegetation with a sweeping vista of valleys, plains, a waterfall, a church, and mountains of the Ecuadoran Andean landscape, culminating in the snow-capped peak of Chimborazo. But Church also conveyed the grandeur of the South American landscape in smaller oil sketches, such as Cayambe. Painted after his second trip to Ecuador, Cayambe shows the volcano of the same name in the distance, behind a lake lined with luxuriant tropical foliage.
    Church had first seen this volcano during his initial trip to South America in 1852. On that occasion, he was accompanied by Cyrus Field, a wealthy paper manufacturer who later won fame as the father of the transatlantic cable. Church and Field visited Colombia and Ecuador, following in the footsteps of Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), the celebrated German naturalist and explorer, under whose spell the artist had fallen in his mid-twenties. In his Picturesque Atlas (1814), Humboldt illustrated Cayambe in full color and described it as “the most beautiful as well as the most majestic” snowpeak near Quito.[1] He remarked that Cayambe was directly on the equator, and therefore “one of these eternal monuments by which nature has marked the great division of the terrestrial globe.”[2]

    Humboldt had also urged artists to study the flora through “coloured sketches taken directly from nature … the only means by which the artist, on his return, may reproduce the character of distant regions in more elaborately finished pictures,” and Church followed his advice, sketching avidly on the journey (as he did on his forays throughout the United States). [3]Among the images of the volcano he made are Mount Cayambe, Ecuador, a drawing in pencil showing the top of the mountain (1853, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York), and Cayambe, a more finished oil sketch depicting the cone as well as the slopes and surrounding hilly landscape (about 1853, Olana State Historic Site, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation).

    The paintings Church completed after returning from his first visit were well received, and he planned a second trip to South America in 1857, this time accompanied by the painter Louis Rémy Mignot. During this visit, the artists concentrated on the magnificent Andean mountains of Ecuador. Church seemed particularly interested in observing atmospheric conditions and light effects. He made a pencil and gouache drawing of Cayambe, recording the time of day, his position, and color notes: Cayambe, Morning, from the Temple of the Sun (June 24, 1857, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York). Below the summit of Cayambe, Church painted a layer of snow using white gouache and wrote on the sketch “snow … lying on the summits of the lesser mountains and paramos [high plateaus] … beautiful bluish haze.”

    Among the first paintings Church completed upon his return was a commission for a wealthy businessman and fellow devotee of Humboldt, Robert L. Stuart. Also titled Cayambe (1858, New-York Historical Society, on permanent loan from the New York Public Library), Stuart’s painting, at 30 by 48 inches (76.2 by121.9 cm), was larger than the MFA’s. The MFA’s Cayambe may have been executed in the process of composing Stuart’s composition. The Stuart picture differs from the MFA’s canvas not only in size but also in coloration—it is less green and lush—and in the inclusion of an ancient ruin and additional palm trees. Stuart had a particular fascination with archeology, and Church may have included the ruin for him.

    Although the MFA’s Cayambe may have been a study for the larger painting, Church took pains to imbue the painting with the distinctive atmosphere of dusk. The pale moon has risen, and although the sun has set, the afterglow still illuminates the snow-capped volcano. The twilight sky tinges the snow on the lower reaches of the mountain and the lake with a striking blue color— the “beautiful bluish haze” Church had noted on his sketch. This hue is also found in the flowers and the mist from an unseen waterfall that issues from the lagoon in the center foreground. In Cayambe Church juxtaposed a tropical jungle, a temperate zone, and the frozen area of the snow-capped volcano, thereby representing a composite of the natural history of Ecuador. Cayambe is thus a reflection on the diversity and complexity of the natural world as well as a stunning image of the “most beautiful … [and] most majestic” snowpeak.

    The early history of the MFA’s Cayambe is unknown. When the painting became available on the New York art market in the 1940s, it was purchased by Maxim Karolik, who appreciated oil sketches as much as finished works. His wife Martha Codman Karolik gave Cayambe to the MFA in 1947.

    Notes
    1. Katherine Emma Manthorne, Tropical Renaissance: North American Artists Exploring Latin America, 1839–1879, New Directions in American Art (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989), 101.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Alexander von Humboldt, Cosmos: A Sketch of a Physical Description of the Universe, trans. Elise C. Otté, vol. 2 (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1849), 452.

    Janet L. Comey

    Inscription

    Center left: F. Church/58

    Provenance

    Before 1943, with Kaliski and Gabay, Inc., New York; 1943, with A.F. Mondschein, New York; 1945, sold by A. F. Mondschein to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1947, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1947)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    30.48 x 45.72 cm (12 x 18 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1237

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Waleska Evans James Gallery (Gallery 236)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Niagara Falls from the Foot of Goat Island

    1857
    Jasper Francis Cropsey (American, 1823–1900)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right, on rock: J.F. Cropsey/1857

    Provenance

    1858, sold by the artist for $157.50 to E. Gambert & Co., publishers, London, England who produced a lithograph for "American Scenery". 1943, with Julien Levy Galleries, New York; 1943, sold by Julien Levy Galleries to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1947, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1947)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    39.05 x 61.28 cm (15 3/8 x 24 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1238

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Penny and Jeff Vinik Gallery (Gallery 233)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Meadow Lands

    1890
    Dennis Miller Bunker (American, 1861–1890)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: D.M. BUNKER 1890

    Provenance

    1891, purchased from posthumous sale of artist's work by Miss Susan Upham (b. 1859); 1891, gift of Miss Susan Upham to the MFA. (March 3, 1891)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Susan Upham

    Details

    Dimensions

    63.5 x 76.2 cm (25 x 30 in.)

    Accession Number

    91.43

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Lighthouse and Buildings, Portland Head, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

    1927
    Edward Hopper (American, 1882–1967)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed lower right: Edward Hopper / Portland Head

    Provenance

    1920s, Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery (New York); to John T. Spaulding (1870-1948, Boston); 1948, bequest of John T. Spaulding to MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 34.3 x 49.5 cm (13 1/2 x 19 1/2 in.) Framed: 59.1 x 72.4 cm (23 1/4 x 28 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.723

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

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  • Sand Dunes of Essex, Massachusetts

    Coast of Ipswich

    1884
    William Lamb Picknell (American, 1854–1897 American)

    Description

    Cape Ann, Massachusetts, a peninsula that includes the towns of Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, and Manchester, has long been a magnet for artists who are drawn to its intense light and varied scenery. In the 1880s, William Picknell established a summer art colony there in Annisquam, a small village within Gloucester known for its picturesque lighthouse, peaceful village lanes, and giant granite boulders. Between 1883 and 1891, Picknell was joined by as many as thirty artists, including Hugh Bolton Jones [27.1325], whom he had known in Pont Aven, an artists’ colony in Brittany where Picknell had worked from 1874 to 1881. During his summer campaigns on Cape Ann, Picknell was attracted to both the peaceful views of the Annisquam River and to the wilder vistas of the dunes on Coffin’s Beach [53.383], across the river from the village of Annisquam.
    Picknell painted Sand Dunes of Essex, Massachusetts in 1884. Realizing that large canvases attracted attention in crowded exhibitions, Picknell chose one almost seven feet long—just as he had in 1880, when he painted The Road to Concarneau (Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), which had been the first American landscape to win an honorable mention at the prestigious Paris Salon. The Road to Concarneau was especially acclaimed for the intensity of the glaring light that Picknell was able to convey, and Sand Dunes of Essex, Massachusetts can also be admired for its brightly lit surface.

    Picknell’s many years of painting in France are reflected in the presentation of his subject and in his technique. Eschewing strict academic practice, like most of the more progressive French artists, Picknell selected a vista without historical associations, natural drama, or a distinctive motif. Instead, his subject is the effect of sunlight on the unspoiled dunes, with a horse-drawn wagon on the road to provide a sense of the substantial scale of the scrub-covered sandbanks and the granite outcroppings. A variety of intense greens, which contrast with the blue sky and white sand, unify the composition. Like the innovative French Realist painter Gustave Courbet, Picknell applied his pigments vigorously with palette knife and brush. The palette knife enabled him to cover sizeable swaths of canvas quickly and to impart a distinctive texture to his landscape. Both artists also used subtractive methods; Picknell is known to have achieved his mottled blue skies by rubbing the painted surface with a pumice stone to reveal the white priming below.

    Picknell was not the only American artist to paint stark landscapes of dunes in the 1880s. Dunescapes
    [Block quote]
    suddenly appeared around 1881 almost simultaneously on the East and West Coasts among artists seeking not only to commune on a personal level with nature, forsaking the familiar and the grandiose, but also shunning the traditional—whether Hudson River School, Düsseldorf-influenced, or French Barbizon landscape traditions. Almost mysteriously, [William] Keith began painting the dunes of California in 1881, at the same time Picknell and his colleagues were painting them in Annisquam, while that same year John Ferguson Weir painted the dunes at East Hampton and R. Swain Gifford… produced…several other dunescapes near Nonquitt on Buzzard’s Bay, south of Boston.[1]
    [/Block quote]
    The raw, uncultivated dunes appealed to Picknell, and during his nine summers in Annisquam, he revisited the subject several times on a smaller scale. Among his other dune paintings are Annisquam Landscape (date unknown, private collection) and Solitude (1888, private collection). [2]

    Picknell sent Sand Dunes of Essex, Massachusetts, under the title Côtés de Ipswich, to the annual Salon exhibition in Paris in 1884, together with Côtés d’Annisquam (destroyed). [3]A critic for La France commanded his readers to “look at Mr. Picknell’s two pictures: ‘Ipswich’ and ‘Coast of Annisquam.’ Full of life, light and poetry.” And a writer for La Femme et la Famille opined that “Mr. Picknell has made a fine picture at Ipswich, Mass. A road in the middle, with a cart moving along; in the foreground chalky earth, white and yellow flowering shrubs and enormous moss-covered rocks. Above and beyond all a blue sky, flooding everything with a gorgeous light.”[4]

    Picknell next entered Sand Dunes of Essex, Massachusetts, again under the title Coté de Ipswich, in the Fifteenth Exhibition of Boston’s Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association in the fall of 1884. The painting was awarded a gold medal and was one of seven chosen to be acquired by the organization. Boston reviewers appreciated Picknell’s work as fully as their French counterparts. A critic for the Boston Transcript was almost certainly referring to Sand Dunes of Essex, Massachusetts when he wrote, “the power and grasp of the artist in conveying the solidity and expanse of the earth and the richness of its clothing of verdure, recall nothing less than the power and grasp of Courbet in the expression of such aspects.” [5]

    In 1885, Daniel S. Ford, Picknell’s uncle and agent, anonymously gave $1,200 to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to buy the painting from the Charitable Mechanic Association for its own collection. Ford was a successful editor, publisher, and philanthropist, who had purchased Youth’s Companion, a small Sunday-school paper for young children, and gradually developed it into the most popular family journal in the country. Ford wanted the Museum to buy the picture since it “would be an acknowledgement by a recognized official authority of its merit” and also “a great benefit to Mr. Picknell, as a public recognition of his merits as an Artist.” However, Ford wished his part in the purchase to remain confidential, and the painting was thus credited as an “anonymous gift.”[6]

    Notes
    1. William H. Gerdts, “Frank Dudley in a National Context: Dunescapes and Other Landscapes,”in The Indiana Dunes Revealed: The Art of Frank V. Dudley, ed. James R. Dabbert (Valparaiso, Ind.: Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006), 139–40.
    2. Christie’s New York, May 19, 2005, Lot 170.
    3. See Lauren Walden Rabb, “William Lamb Picknell: An American Emersonian Artist” (master’s thesis, George Washington University, 1996), http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/8aa/8aa361.htm [http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/8aa/8aa361.htm], n124.
    4. Both writers quoted in Art Criticisms from the French, English and American Newspapers:Upon Paintings in the Paris Salon, Royal Academy and other Exhibitions by William L. Picknell (New York: S. P. Avery, Jr. Art Galleries, 1890), 11.
    5. Quoted in Art Criticisms, 28–29.
    6. Curatorial files, Department of Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    Janet L. Comey

    Inscription

    Lower right: W. L. Picknell.

    Provenance

    1884, purchased by Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, Boston for $1200 - one of seven paintings acquired by the association from its fifteenth exhibition; 1885, purchased from the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association by the MFA with funds donated by Daniel S. Ford and credited as an anonymous gift. (Accession Date: August 7, 1885)

    Credit Line

    Anonymous gift

    Details

    Dimensions

    133.03 x 209.23 cm (52 3/8 x 82 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    85.486

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Penny and Jeff Vinik Gallery (Gallery 233)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Morning Sunlight on the Snow, Éragny-sur-Epte

    1895
    Camille Pissarro (French (born in the Danish West Indies), 1830–1903)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: C. Pissarro. 95

    Provenance

    April 10, 1895, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York (stock no. 1789) [see note 1]; 1910, sold by Durand-Ruel to John Pickering Lyman (b. 1847? - d. 1914), Portsmouth, N.H. [see note 2]; 1914, by inheritance to Theodora Lyman (d. 1919), Portsmouth; 1919, gift of Miss Theodora Lyman to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 18, 1919) NOTES: [1] According to a letter from Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Catalogue Raisonné Camille Pissarro, to the MFA (2003). The painting was previously thought to have been dated 1894 and sold to Durand-Ruel in that year. [2] According to notes in the MFA curatorial file.

    Credit Line

    The John Pickering Lyman Collection—Gift of Miss Theodora Lyman

    Details

    Dimensions

    82.3 x 61.6 cm (32 3/8 x 24 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.1321

    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

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  • Water Lilies

    1907
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Beginning in 1903, Monet embarked on a series of paintings depicting his water garden at Giverny, its lily pads and endless play of reflections. Inspired by Japanese prints, he hoped to evoke “presence through shadow and the whole through the part”—suggesting the surrounding banks, trees, and sky, though never representing them directly. In 1909 Monet exhibited forty-eight of these “water landscapes” at his dealer’s gallery in Paris, among them this canvas.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Claude Monet 1907

    Provenance

    June 1909, sold by the artist to Bernheim-Jeune and Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York; December 1909, 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)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Alexander Cochrane

    Details

    Dimensions

    96.8 x 98.4 cm (38 1/8 x 38 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.170

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Road through a Forest

    Jacques d'Arthois (Flemish, 1613–1686)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right, on rock: Jacques d Arthois

    Provenance

    James Davis, Boston [see note 1]. 1884, Louise Winsor (Mrs. Francis) Brooks (b. 1835 - d. 1892), Boston; 1884, gift of Mrs. Francis Brooks to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 6, 1884) NOTES: [1] According to a letter from Francis Brooks to Charles Loring of the MFA (May 5, 1884). It was offered as a work by Swaneveldt.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Francis Brooks

    Details

    Dimensions

    124.5 x 175.9 cm (49 x 69 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    84.249

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Valley of the Creuse (Gray Day)

    1889
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 89

    Provenance

    1891, from the artist to Durand-Ruel, New York, NY and Paris, France; 1891, Denman Waldo Ross, Cambridge, MA, from Durand-Ruel; 1906, gift of Ross. (Accession Date: March 8, 1906)

    Credit Line

    Denman Waldo Ross Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    65.5 x 81.2 cm (25 13/16 x 31 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    06.115

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Landscape

    about 1890
    Philip Leslie Hale (American, 1865–1931)

    Description

    Landscape is perhaps Philip Leslie Hale’s most progressive painting, reflecting his awareness of Monet’s move to more abstract subjects (in his series of poplar paintings, for instance) and of Les Nabis (the Prophets), an avant-garde French movement that sought to disavow academicism in favor of more decorative aspects of art. Led by Paul Sérusier [60.742], Maurice Denis [60.275], Pierre Bonnard [60.57], and Edouard Vuillard [48.612], Les Nabis experimented with simplified drawing, flat patches of color, and bold contours in the pursuit of decorative beauty rather than description. Both Monet and Les Nabis were influenced by Japanese aesthetics, which liberated the artist from a literal transcription of nature and emphasized simplified natural forms and the extraction of decorative patterns from nature.
    The lack of a central focus, bright colors, and loose brushwork of Landscape are reminiscent of Monet’s poplar paintings. Hale used yellow pigment to convey the effects of the midday sun, green for both the foliage of the trees and their shadows, and blue and lavender for the tree trunks. The influence of Les Nabis is apparent in the flatness of the design and the primacy of surface pattern. Hale employed bands of color in a decorative grid of rhythmic verticals and horizontals, relieved by the single tall tree in the left foreground. Hale’s inventive composition borders on abstraction and presages developments that would occur in Paris after the turn of the century. These experiments proceeded without Hale, however, who retreated toward more descriptive canvases after 1900.

    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).

    Provenance

    About 1890, the artist, Dedham, Mass.; 1931, by descent to his wife, Lilian Westcott Hale (1880-1963), Dedham; 1964, by descent to her daughter, Nancy Hale Bowers, Charlottesville, Va.; 1985, gift of Nancy Hale Bowers to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 24, 1985)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Nancy Hale Bowers

    Details

    Dimensions

    46.04 x 55.88 cm (18 1/8 x 22 in.)

    Accession Number

    1985.689

    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

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  • Deauville at Low Tide

    1897
    Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: E. Boudin-97 / Deauville 10 Aout

    Provenance

    May 11, 1901, Louis Bernard sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 10, to Durand-Ruel, Paris, for 4200ff; 1908, sold by Durand-Ruel to Milliken. Mary H. J. Parker (b. 1892 - d. 1980), Boston; bequest of Mary H. J. Parker to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 13, 1982)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mary H. J. Parker

    Details

    Dimensions

    55 x 95 cm (21 5/8 x 37 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1981.719

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Blossoming Trees

    2
    1882
    Childe Hassam (American, 1859–1935)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left in brush: F. Childe Hassam/1882.

    Provenance

    Kathleen Rothe; bequest to MFA, October 13, 1965.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Kathleen Rothe

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 26.7 x 22.9 cm (10 1/2 x 9 in.)

    Accession Number

    65.1301

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor on brown paper

    Not On View

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  • The Knolls, New Hampshire

    1879–1935
    Childe Hassam (American, 1859–1935)

    Description

    Provenance

    Kathleen Rothe; bequest to MFA, October 13, 1965.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Kathleen Rothe

    Details

    Dimensions

    25.4 x 35.6cm (10 x 14in.)

    Accession Number

    65.1302

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil

    Not On View

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  • Souvenir of a Meadow at Brunoy

    about 1855–65
    Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796–1875)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower right: COROT

    Provenance

    By 1875 until at least 1878, Louis Latouche, Paris [see note 1]. Early 1880s, acquired in France by Thomas Robinson for Seth Morton Vose (b. 1831 - d. 1910), Vose Gallery, Providence, R.I.; sold by Vose to Mrs. Augustus Hemenway [see note 2]; by descent from Mrs. Hemenway to Louis Cabot (b. 1837 - d. 1914) and Amy Hemenway Cabot (b. 1848 - d. 1911), Boston; by inheritance to Augustus Hemenway, Milton, MA; 1916, gift of Augustus Hemenway to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 6, 1916) NOTES: [1] He lent the painting to the exhibitions "Corot," École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1875 (cat. no. 193) and "Maîtres Modernes," Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1878 (cat. no. 120), according to Alfred Robaut, "L'oeuvre de Corot: catalogue raisonné et illustré" (1905), vol. 3, cat. no. 2417 and notes in the MFA curatorial file. [2] According to information provided by Robert C. Vose, Vose Galleries (July 7, 1988).

    Credit Line

    Gift of Augustus Hemenway in memory of Louis and Amy Hemenway Cabot

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    MRIL NoAm 2

    Dimensions

    90.5 x 115.9 cm (35 5/8 x 45 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    16.1

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

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  • Training Grape Vines

    about 1860–64
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Provenance

    Alfred Sensier; December 10-18, 1877, sold by Sensier at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, no. 201, and bought by Legrand (probably for Quincy Adams Shaw). Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston; 1917, given to the MFA by Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Dimensions

    43.8 x 64.1 cm (17 1/4 x 25 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1528

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel on blue-gray wove paper

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  • Farm at Recouvrières, Nièvre

    1831
    Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: COROT.1831 (scratched into paint) COROT

    Provenance

    Given by the artist to M. Pons (owner of the farm depicted in the painting). By 1895, with Aimé Diot, Paris (dealer, also known as MM. Diot et Tempelaere); 1895, sold by Diot to Dr. Henry Clay Angell (d. 1911), Boston, MA; 1911, inherited by Martha Bartlett Angell (widow, d. 1919), Boston; 1919, gift of Martha Bartlett Angell. (Accession Date: March 20, 1919)

    Credit Line

    The Henry C. and Martha B. Angell Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    47.6 x 70.2 cm (18 3/4 x 27 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.82

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

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  • Field outside Paris

    1845–51
    Constant Troyon (French, 1810–1865)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: C. Troyon

    Provenance

    1886, Thomas Robinson, Providence, R.I.; November 16, 1886, Robinson sale, Moore's Art Galleries, New York, lot 117, to Vose Galleries, Providence, R.I., and Boston; probably sold by Vose Galleries to Dr. Henry Clay Angell (d. 1911), Boston; by inheritance to his wife, Martha Bartlett Angell, Boston; 1919, gift of Martha B. Angell to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 20, 1919)

    Credit Line

    The Henry C. and Martha B. Angell Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    27 x 45.4 cm (10 5/8 x 17 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.117

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on paperboard

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  • Château-Gaillard at Sunset

    about 1873
    Charles François Daubigny (French, 1817–1878)

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1907, Alice Crowninshield (Mrs. Josiah) Bradlee (b. 1839 - d. 1926), Boston; 1918, gift of Mrs. Josiah Bradlee to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 7, 1918)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Josiah Bradlee

    Details

    Dimensions

    38.1 x 68.6 cm (15 x 27 in.)

    Accession Number

    18.18

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Bacchanal at the Spring: Souvenir of Marly-le-Roi

    1872
    Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796–1875)

    Description

    Signed

    Lower left: COROT

    Provenance

    Possibly with Emile Gavet, Paris. By 1875, M. Brun Collection, Paris [see note 1]. By 1895, Marquis Fressinet de Bellanger Collection, Paris [see note 2]. Galerie Georges Petit, Paris; sold by Galerie Georges Petit to Arthur Tooth & Sons, London and New York; March 1898, sold by Arthur Tooth & Sons to H. S. Henry, Philadelphia; January 25, 1907, Henry sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 4, to Robert Dawson Evans (b. 1843 - d. 1909), Boston; by inheritance to Mrs. Robert Dawson Evans (Maria Antoinette Hunt) (b. 1846 - d. 1917), Boston; bequest of Mrs. Evans to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 1, 1917) Notes: [1] M. Brun lent the painting in 1875 to the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Corot Exhibition, Paris, no. 12. [2] The Marquis Fressinet de Bellanger lent the painting in 1895 to the Palais Galliera, Centenaire de Corot Exhibition, Paris, no. 79.

    Credit Line

    Robert Dawson Evans Collection

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    MRIL NoAm 3

    Dimensions

    82.2 x 66.3 cm (32 3/8 x 26 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.3234

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Priory at Vauville, Normandy

    1872–74
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J. F. Millet

    Provenance

    1874-1908, acquired from the artist by Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston (commissioned in 1872); 1908-1917, inherited by Quincy A. Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton, Boston; 1917, gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Dimensions

    89.9 x 116.8 cm (35 3/8 x 46 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1532

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

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  • Farmhouse

    1868
    Winckworth Allan Gay (American, 1821–1910 American)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: WA. Gay/1868. [WA in monogram]

    Provenance

    The artist; Mrs. Edward Wheelright; to MFA, 1913, bequest of Mrs. Edward Wheelright.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. Edward Wheelwright

    Details

    Dimensions

    40.32 x 65.09 cm (15 7/8 x 25 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    13.453

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

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  • The Alps

    about 1847
    Winckworth Allan Gay (American, 1821–1910 American)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: W A GAY

    Provenance

    The artist; possibly G.B. Upton, about 1863; Mrs. Edward Wheelright; to MFA, 1913, bequest of Mrs. Edward Wheelright.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. Edward Wheelwright

    Details

    Dimensions

    27.3 x 35.24 cm (10 3/4 x 13 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    13.463

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Road from Malavaux, near Cusset

    Near Cusset, Route du Malavaux

    1867
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    près Cusset/route du Malavaux

    Markings

    Stamped with Millet Sale mark lower right: J.F.M.

    Provenance

    Millet studio sale (Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 10-11 May, 1875, lot 91); bought by Richard Hearn for Brimmer; Martin Brimmer (1829-1896, MA); acquired by MFA July 1876, gift of Martin Brimmer.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martin Brimmer

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Murphy 123

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 11.2 x 16.2 cm (4 7/16 x 6 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    76.425

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor and pen and brown ink over graphite pencil on dark cream laid paper

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  • Le Dormoir du Nid de l'Aigle, Fontainebleau

    by 1877
    Artist Armand Théophile Cassagne (French, 1823–1907 French)

    Description

    Inscription

    In brown ink, l.r.: Armand Cassagne

    Provenance

    Acquired 1878

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. William A. Tappan

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 42.4 x 62.6 cm (16 11/16 x 24 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    78.42

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on heavy cream wove paper

    Not On View

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  • Summer: Fishermen Netting

    1850s
    Thomas Chambers (American (born in England), 1808–1866 or later American)

    Description

    Provenance

    The artist; with Clifton Blake, New Haven, Conn., by 1948; Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I., 1948; to MFA, 1962, gift of Maxim Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    46.35 x 61.91 cm (18 1/4 x 24 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    62.266

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Stream in the Forest

    about 1862
    Gustave Courbet (French, 1819–1877)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: G. Courbet

    Provenance

    1865, possibly with the artist [see note 1]. Potter Dekens, Brussels. Galerie Joseph Allard, Paris; sold by Allard to Meyer Goodfriend (b. 1860 - d. 1927), Paris and New York [see note 2]; January 4, 1923, Goodfriend sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 61, to Wildenstein and Co., New York, for $2500. Before 1929, Paul Rosenberg (b. 1881 - d. 1959), Paris [see note 3]. By 1936, Alfred Chester Beatty (b. 1875 - d. 1968), London and Dublin [see note 4]; March, 1955, sold by Beatty to Paul Rosenberg and Co., New York [see note 5]; 1955, sold by Rosenberg to the MFA for $35,000. (Accession Date: December 8, 1955) NOTES: [1] Courbet wrote to dealer Jules Luquet in the spring of 1865 offering to sell him a number of paintings, including a "Stag at the Water" for 300 francs, which has been tentatively identified with the MFA painting. See Correspondance de Courbet, ed. Petra ten-Doesschate Chu (Paris: Flammarion, 1996), pp. 235-236. [2] That it belonged to Potter Dekens and was sold by Allard is according to the Goodfriend auction catalogue of 1923. [3] The painting was published by Charles Léger, "Courbet" (Paris, 1929), pl. 52, n.p., as formerly in the collection of Paul Rosenberg. [4] According to a label on the reverse of the painting, he lent it to the "Exhibition of Masters of French 19th century painting" (New Burlington Galleries, London, October 1 - 31, 1936), cat. no. 29 (listed as lent "from a private collection" in the exhibition catalogue). It is likely that Beatty acquired the painting from Paul Rosenberg. Mrs. Chester Beatty was a frequent client of Rosenberg, purchasing several paintings from his gallery in the 1930s. After her death, some of these were sold back to Rosenberg, at that time established in New York. [5] According to a letter from Elaine Rosenberg of Paul Rosenberg and Co. to the MFA (June 25, 1998).

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Samuel Parkman Oliver

    Details

    Dimensions

    156.8 x 114 cm (61 3/4 x 44 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    55.982

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

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  • Landscape in Southern France

    about 1917–27
    André Derain (French, 1880–1954)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: A derain

    Provenance

    From the artist to an anonymous collection, Paris; 1929, sold by anonymous collection to Durand-Ruel, Paris; November 22, 1929, sold by Durand-Ruel, 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

    50.5 x 60.6 cm (19 7/8 x 23 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.535

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

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  • Mountain Landscape from Clavadel

    1925–26
    Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German, 1880–1938)

    Description

    Kirchner suffered a complete mental and physical collapse after being called up for service during World War I; he then settled in Switzerland, hoping the mountain air would cure mind and body. He turned to painting the high Alps, with bold colors and coarse brushwork, suggesting man at peace with nature-an ideal that contrasted sharply with his own wartime experience.

    Inscription

    Incised, upper right: K; and lower left: K; Lower right: ELKiRchneR; Reverse E L Kirchner / 25-26 / Berglandschaft von Clavadel

    Provenance

    The estate of the artist; sold by the estate of the artist to the Galerie Beyeler, Basel [see note 1]; possibly sold by Beyeler to E. and A. Silberman Galleries, New York; 1956, sold by Silberman to the MFA. (Accession date: January 12, 1956) NOTED: [1] According to a letter from Abris Silberman (January 31, 1956) to W.G. Constable of the MFA. Silberman implies that his gallery acquired the picture from Beyeler.

    Credit Line

    Tompkins Collection—Arthur Gordon Tompkins Fund

    Copyright

    © (for works by E. L. Kirchner) by Ingeborg & Dr. Wolfgang Henze-Ketterer, Wichtrach/Bern

    Details

    Dimensions

    135 x 200.3 cm (53 1/8 x 78 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    56.13

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

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  • Corfu: Cypresses

    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: 40.4 x 53.3 cm (15 7/8 x 21 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.206

    Medium or Technique

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

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  • Simplon Pass: Avalanche Track

    about 1909-11
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: John S. Sargent; verso: John S. Sargent / Simplon—Avalanche Track

    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: 32.7 x 52.8 cm (12 7/8 x 20 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.210

    Medium or Technique

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

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  • River in the Hills

    1940
    Milton Clark Avery (American, 1885–1965)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed lower right in graphite: Milton Avery/On verso: unfinished version of same subject; inscribed in green marker (in Avery's hand): "River in the Hills" / by Milton Avery / wc. / 22 * 30 / circa / 1941. Image and inscription crossed out in black crayon.

    Markings

    PDP Watermark Type: Watermark: HAND MADE J WHATMAN 1934 ENGLAND

    Provenance

    Grace Borgenicht Gallery Inc., NY, NY; purchased by MFA, April 14, 1971.

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Copyright

    © Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 78.1 x 56.5 cm (30 3/4 x 22 1/4 in.) Framed: 74.9 x 95.9 cm (29 1/2 x 37 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1971.147

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

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  • In the Valley of the Seine

    about 1889
    John Leslie Breck (American, 1860–1899)

    Description

    Breck was an innovator of the American Impressionist movement and one of the first American painters to travel to Giverny, the small village in Normandy where Claude Monet, the master of French Impressionist landscape painting, had settled in 1883. Breck worked there with four of his compatriots in the summer of 1887 and returned to the town on multiple occasions. Along with his better-known colleague Theodore Robinson, he was among the few Americans admitted to Monet’s inner circle, invited to paint in the artist’s garden and reluctantly allowed to court one of his stepdaughters, Blanche Hoschedé.
    In the Valley of the Seine is one of Breck’s largest and most ambitious compositions. Breck was committed to Impressionism and its stated ideal of making finished works outdoors directly from nature, but it seems likely that he completed this canvas indoors, in his studio. Its large format would have made it difficult to carry up the steep hills behind the village, and the composition seems scrupulously planned and carefully executed.

    Breck depicted the entire panorama of the Seine river valley, looking out past the rooftops of the village and its cultivated fields and grainstacks to the distinctive poplar trees that line the riverbed (all subjects being explored by Monet in several series of paintings). Breck used varied brushstrokes of bright greens, blues, purples, oranges, and yellows, stippling his canvas to capture the flicker of leaves in the trees and drawing out his brush to show the long furrowed lines of the fields. The scene seems suffused with the moist light of summer; the haze is strongest over the unseen river, obscuring the distant hills and rising to form billowing clouds.

    Despite the omniscient viewpoint and the comprehensive scope he employed—characteristics shared by more traditional landscape painters—Breck embraced a key component of French Impressionism for In the Valley of the Seine. His scene tells no story; it records no place of historic significance, nor does it attempt to imbue the natural with the divine. This lack of narrative, either explicit or implied, is one of the key features of Impressionist painting. There was no desire to tell stories—long the justification for traditional art, which was valued for the moral lessons it could teach. Instead, a simple view of an unremarkable landscape at one particular moment on an ordinary day was held to be an eminently suitable subject for art.

    Breck returned to the United States in 1890, settling in Boston near his family and enjoying the support of local painters and collectors like Lilla Cabot Perry [64.2055], a champion of Monet’s style, who praised Breck’s work and helped to arrange for it to be exhibited. In 1890, a local writer described Breck as one of a group of progressive artists who had “got the blue-green color of Monet’s Impressionism and ‘got it bad.’”[1]Breck’s blue-green In the Valley of the Seine was included in the artist’s first solo exhibition at Boston’s St. Botolph Club in 1890; it was shown again at a Boston gallery in 1893, when a writer for the Boston Evening Transcript described it as a view encompassing “a hint of the village embowered in luxuriant foliage of that worsted-work texture made familiar to us by the work of Monet,”[2]and another local critic dubbed Breck the “head of the American Impressionists.”[3]

    When Breck died of gas poisoning at age thirty-nine in 1899, his mother inherited In the Valley of the Seine. It descended in the Breck family until its purchase by the MFA in 2009.

    Notes
    1. Greta, “Boston Art and Artists,” Art Amateur, October 1887, 93.
    2. Boston Evening Transcript, January 19, 1893.
    3. Boston Daily Globe, January 25, 1893.

    Erica E. Hirshler

    Signed

    Signed lower right: J L Breck

    Provenance

    About 1889, the artist; 1899, by inheritance to the artist's mother, Ellen Frances Newell Breck Rice; by 1900, by descent to the artist's only brother, Edward Breck, Esq., New York [1]; 1925, by descent to his oldest daughter, Ellen ("Nelly") Breck (Mrs. Forrest) Macnee; by descent to her husband, Forrest Macnee; 1962, by inheritance to his daughter, Ellen Frances Macnee (Mrs. Timothy) Coggeshall; 1980, by descent to her daughter, Caroline Coggeshall (the artist's great great niece); 2009, sold by Caroline Coggeshall to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 25, 2009) [1] Edward Breck listed as owner in 1900 Memorial Exhibition.

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by exchange from the John Pickering Lyman Collection—Gift of Miss Theodora Lyman, Gift of Mrs. Albert J. Beveridge, The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund, Bequest of Maxim Karolik, Bequest of Alice Dodge Wolfson Herling, Gift of Alfred I. du Pont, and the Charles H. Bayley Picture and Painting Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 70.8 x 130.2 cm (27 7/8 x 51 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    2009.338

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Croll Gallery (Gallery 227)

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  • The Windmill

    Ferdinand Bernhard Hoeppe (German, 1831–1922 German)

    Description

    Inscription

    Recto, l.r: Bernh. Höppe

    Signed

    signed

    Provenance

    William C. Cotton Collection; to his sister, Miss Elizabeth A. Cotton (Brookline, MA); bequest to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Accession Date: March 2, 1933)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Elizabeth A. Cotton

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 37.5 x 54.8 cm (14 3/4 x 21 9/16 in. )

    Accession Number

    33.322

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Simplon Pass: Mountain Brook

    about 1909-11
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Inscription

    Recto, l.r.: John S. Sargent; verso in Sargent's hand: Alpenrosen

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

    Accession Number

    12.213

    Medium or Technique

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

    Not On View

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  • Simplon Pass: Fresh Snow

    about 1909-11
    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: 35.4 x 49.2 cm (13 15/16 x 19 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.211

    Medium or Technique

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

    Not On View

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  • Carters with a Load of Slate

    about 1790
    George Morland (English, 1763–1804)

    Description

    As a young artist, Morland copied the work of such 17th-century Dutch painters as Adriaen van Ostade and Paulus Potter, whose rustic scenes of country inns and rural laborers likely inspired paintings like Carters with a Load of Slate. Morland was clearly fond of the natural world, and his compositions often feature a variety of animals. He is said to have kept goats, dogs, foxes, horses, squirrels, guinea pigs, and dormice in his garden in the early 1790s.

    Inscription

    Lower right: G. Morland pinxt

    Provenance

    1940, Miss Amelia Peabody, Boston; 1940, gift of Miss Amelia Peabody. (Accession date: October 10, 1940)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Amelia Peabody

    Details

    Dimensions

    99.4 x 127.6 cm (39 1/8 x 50 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    40.589

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Alan and Simone Hartman Galleries (Gallery 241)

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  • Haymaking

    1892
    Julien Dupré (French, 1851–1910)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: JULIEN DUPRE - 1892

    Provenance

    By 1892 with Petit, (Georges). By 1892 - 1894 Knoedler's (London, England, UK; New York, NY, USA; Paris, France) [Knoedler's London stock no. 7256]; 1894 - 1931 Frances W. and Edith Fabyan from Knoedler's (Boston, MA, USA); 1931 - Boston, MA, USA. Museum of Fine Arts (gift of Fabyan) (Accession date: November 5, 1931)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Frances W. Fabyan in memory of Edith Westcott Fabyan

    Details

    Dimensions

    81.3 x 64.8 cm (32 x 25 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    31.907

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Potato Planters

    about 1861
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    In Millet’s time, many people considered potatoes unfit food even for animals, but these peasants are planting potatoes for themselves to eat. “Why should the work of a potato planter,” wrote Millet, “be less interesting or less noble than any other activity?” Millet gives the harsh reality of their lives beauty and dignity, placing his solidly modelled, harmonious figures before a hazy landscape just beginning to green in the spring sun. The presence of the donkey and the sleeping child under the tree may recall another poor working family, that of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.

    Provenance

    1862, sold by the artist to his dealers, Emile Blanc and Arthur Stevens, and exhibited at the Galerie Georges Petit [see note 1]. 1867, M. Soultzener, Paris [see note 2]. March 13, 1877, consigned anonymously to the Baron de Hauff sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 26. By 1879, Quincy Adams Shaw (b. 1825 - d. 1908), Boston; 1917, gift of Quincy Adams Shaw, through Quincy Adams Shaw Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton, to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917) NOTES: [1] "Cercle de l'Union Artistique," Georges Petit, Paris, 1862. [2] He lent the painting to the "Exposition Universelle," Paris, 1867, cat. no. 479.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Dimensions

    82.5 x 101.3 cm (32 1/2 x 39 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1505

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Return of the Flock

    about 1863–64
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J. F. Millet

    Provenance

    About 1863, with Moreau, Paris. Emile Gavet, Paris; sold by Gavet at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 11-12, 1875, lot no. 61. Possibly owned by P. Barbédienne, and sold at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 27, 1885, lot no. 76. Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston; 1917, given to the MFA by Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr. and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Murphy 109

    Dimensions

    38.7 x 50.3 cm (15 1/4 x 19 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1506

    Medium or Technique

    Black conté crayon and pastel on light brown laid paper

    Not On View

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  • In the Vineyard

    1852–53
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J. F. Millet

    Provenance

    Commisioned from the artist by Alfred Feydeau, Paris. By 1877, Alfred Sensier, Paris; sold by Sensier at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 10-18, 1877, lot no. 45. Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston; 1917, given to the MFA by Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr. and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Murphy 47

    Dimensions

    37.5 x 29.6 cm (14 3/4 x 11 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1487

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • New England Landscape

    about 1887
    John Appleton Brown (American, 1844–1902 American)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: J. Appleton Brown

    Provenance

    The artist; William R. Wilson; to MFA, 1915, William R. Wilson donation.

    Credit Line

    William R. Wilson Donation

    Details

    Dimensions

    45.08 x 55.56 cm (17 3/4 x 21 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    15.880

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel and graphite on paperboard

    Not On View

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  • The Gleaner

    1865
    William Morris Hunt (American, 1824–1879)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: WMHunt./1865. [WMH in monogram]

    Provenance

    1865, the artist. Before 1915, George Robert White (1847-1922), Boston; 1915, gift of George R. White to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 7, 1915)

    Credit Line

    Gift of George R. White

    Details

    Dimensions

    53.66 x 38.73 cm (21 1/8 x 15 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    15.1

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Penny and Jeff Vinik Gallery (Gallery 233)

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  • Peasant Watering Her Cow

    about 1863
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J. F. M.

    Provenance

    About 1863, possibly with Ennemond Blanc, Paris. Alfred Sensier, Paris; sold by Sensier at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 10-18, 1877, lot no. 52, and bought by A. Legrand (probably for Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston). Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston; 1917, given to the MFA by Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr. and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Murphy 105

    Dimensions

    46 x 55.5 cm (18 1/8 x 21 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1509

    Medium or Technique

    Oil over black conté crayon on canvas

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  • Two Men Turning over the Soil

    1866
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J. F. Millet

    Provenance

    By 1875, commissioned from the artist by Emile Gavet, Paris; sold by Gavet at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 11-12, 1875, no. 49, and bought by Détrimont (probably for Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston). Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston; 1917, given to the MFA by Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr. and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Dimensions

    69.9 x 94 cm (27 1/2 x 37 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1510

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel and black conté crayon on wove paper, originally cream, aged to dark cream

    Not On View

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  • Carnival of Autumn

    1908
    Marsden Hartley (American, 1877–1943)

    Description

    Provenance

    Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946); 1946, estate of Alfred Stieglitz; 1949, acquired by Ione and Hudson D. Walker (1907-1976), Forest Hills, N. Y. from the estate of Alfred Stieglitz; 1967, consigned by Ione and Hudson Walker to the Babcock Galleries, New York; 1968, sold by the Babcock Galleries to the MFA. (Accession Date: June12, 1968)

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Copyright

    Marsden Hartley materials are reproduced with the permission of the Yale University Committee on Literary Property

    Details

    Dimensions

    76.52 x 76.52 cm (30 1/8 x 30 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    68.296

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Saundra and William H. Lane Galleries (Gallery 334)

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  • View from the Terrace of a Villa at Niton, Isle of Wight, from Sketches by a Lady

    1826
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775–1851)

    Description

    This charming summer scene is based on watercolor sketches done by Lady Julia Gordon, who had been Turner’s pupil years before. A view from the steps of her villa, it records the new fashion for “Italian” gardens with terraces and urns. Turner exhibited the painting under the title given here at the Royal Academy in 1826.

    Provenance

    Painted for Lady Willoughby Gordon (Julia Bennet) and based upon her sketches; by descent to Lady Gordon's granddaughter, Mrs. Disney Leith; by descent to her son, the seventh Lord Burgh; July 26, 1926, sale Christie's, London, lot 27, and bought by Sampson; 1929, with Dudley Tooth, London; 1933, sold by Dudley Tooth to William A. Coolidge, Topsfield and Cambridge, MA (d. 1992); 1993, bequest of William A. Coolidge. (Accession Date: January 27, 1993)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of William A. Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    45.7 x 61 cm (18 x 24 in.)

    Accession Number

    1993.46

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Newborn Lamb

    1866
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J. F. Millet

    Provenance

    By 1866, commissioned from the artist by Emile Gavet, Paris; sold by Gavet at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 11-12, 1875, lot no. 66. Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston; 1917, given to the MFA by Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr. and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Murphy 114

    Dimensions

    40.4 x 47.1 cm (15 7/8 x 18 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1513

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel and black conté crayon on beige wove paper

    Not On View

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  • Shepherdesses Watching a Flight of Wild Geese

    1866
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J. F. Millet

    Provenance

    1866, commissioned from the artist by Emile Gavet; June 11-12, 1875, sold by Gavet at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, no. 24, and bought by David. By 1917, Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston; 1917, given to the MFA by Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr. and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Dimensions

    57.2 x 41.9 cm (22 1/2 x 16 1/2 in.) design

    Accession Number

    17.1512

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel and black conté crayon on beige wove paper

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  • Noonday Rest

    1866
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J. F. Millet

    Provenance

    1866, Emile Gavet (b. 1830 -d. 1904), Paris (original commission) [see note 1]; June 11-12, 1875, Gavet sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 60, to Alexis-Eugène Détrimont (b. 1825), Paris [see note 2]. Quincy Adams Shaw (b. 1825 - d. 1908), Boston; 1917, gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr. and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton, to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917) NOTES: [1] This was among the first group of pastels that Gavet, a Parisian architect, commissioned from Millet. See Alexandra R. Murphy, "Jean-François Millet" (Boston: MFA, 1984), p. 169, cat. no. 113. [2] Detrimont was a dealer, restorer, and framer. Murphy (as above, n. 1) suggests he may have purchased this for Quincy Adams Shaw.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Dimensions

    29.2 x 41.9 cm (11 1/2 x 16 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1511

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel and black conté crayon on buff wove paper

    Not On View

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  • Woods in the Fall

    undated
    Childe Hassam (American, 1859–1935)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left in brush: F. Childe Hassam.

    Provenance

    Kathleen Rothe; bequest to MFA, October 13, 1965.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Kathleen Rothe

    Details

    Dimensions

    35.6 x 25.4cm (14 x 10in.)

    Accession Number

    65.1300

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor

    Not On View

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  • The Buffalo Trail

    about 1867
    Albert Bierstadt (American (born in Germany), 1830–1902)

    Description

    During both his trips to the western United States, in 1859 and 1863, Bierstadt observed and sketched the American buffalo (actually bison) that dominated the rolling grasslands from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. In The Buffalo Trail, made after his second trip in 1863, Bierstadt depicts the seasonal migration of the buffalo between feeding grounds and salt licks.

    At this time, the creatures were beginning to be threatened by extinction from excessive hunting. Hundreds of thousands of hides were being shipped back east by the 1870s, and by 1880 only a few thousand buffalo remained. Bierstadt himself had hunted them on his first trip West, but, as Ludlow writes, on the 1863 venture he focused solely on sketching: “Our artist [Bierstadt], though a good shot … had seen enough buffalo-hunting in other expeditions to care little for it now, compared with the artistic opportunities which our battue [hunt] afforded him for portraits of fine old bulls.”[1]In this painting, rather than feature a solitary animal, Bierstadt instead silhouetted a whole herd against bright reflections in the stream, as sunlight breaks through ominous clouds.

    A date of about 1867 has been assigned to The Buffalo Trail, based on the label of a London picture restorer attached to the back of the stretcher; it is believed that the painting was purchased in England, though further evidence of its initial ownership has yet to be discovered. Bierstadt and his wife set sail on a two-year trip to Europe in June 1867, spending time in Great Britain and on the Continent. The canvas could have been executed while Bierstadt was overseas or shortly before his travels, in anticipation of a sale. Bierstadt’s popularity outside the United States was on the rise, especially after his huge 1863 painting The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak (now Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) sold for $25,000 to James McHenry, an English railroad entrepreneur, who exhibited it in London to great acclaim.

    The Buffalo Trail also relates to two oil sketches (both private collection) signed by Bierstadt and dated 1867. In 1869 he executed a second finished painting, Buffalo Trail: The Impending Storm (Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.). Similar in size to the MFA’s picture, the Corcoran composition shows the migrating animals struggling against a darker, more agitated sky, with less light reflected on the water. Bierstadt continued to depict buffalo throughout his career, culminating in his well-known 1888 canvas The Last of the Buffalo (also Corcoran Gallery of Art), featuring a bison charging a Native American on horseback.

    Notes
    1. Fitz Hugh Ludlow, The Heart of the Continent (New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1870), 62.

    Karen E. Quinn

    Inscription

    Lower right: ABierstadt [AB in monogram]

    Provenance

    After 1867, probably owned in England (the label of an English picture restorer is attached to the back of the canvas). By 1947, private collector, New York; Feb. 26-7, 1947, Anonymous Sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, lot 64; 1947, with Charles D. Childs, Boston; 1947, sold by Charles D. Childs to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1947, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1947)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    80.96 x 121.92 cm (31 7/8 x 48 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1268

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Waleska Evans James Gallery (Gallery 236)

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  • The Pool, Medfield

    1889
    Dennis Miller Bunker (American, 1861–1890)

    Description

    Dennis Miller Bunker was one of the earliest Americans to apply all of the stylistic ingredients of the radical new painting style of Impressionism to his native landscape. Like most artists of his generation, Bunker had been trained as a figure painter [91.130], instructed to value traditional compositions and accurate drawing. After polishing his academic education in Paris, he accepted a teaching position in Boston, where he soon became admired for his sophisticated portraits. Bored with conventional approaches to art, Bunker continued to experiment. In 1887 he met the adventurous painter John Singer Sargent [link to ch. 8], and the two young men, both interested in modern French art, theater, and music, became close friends. They spent the summer of 1888 working together in the English countryside, exploring the bright colors and individual brushstrokes of Impressionism.
    By the time Bunker returned to Boston, he had fully mastered the new style. Like his French contemporary Claude Monet [25.106]—whose paintings were rapidly entering Boston collections—Bunker preferred anonymous landscapes to well-known sites. He spent the summer of 1889 in Medfield, Massachusetts, painting a series of images of the lush marshy fields near the source of the Charles River. In The Pool, Medfield, Bunker placed the horizon line high on his canvas, a device that serves to flatten the composition, emphasizing its two-dimensional design. Upon this surface, he crafted a dense network of long unblended strokes of color that echo the shapes of the reeds and grasses and the flow of the clear blue water. Bunker’s Pool is a dazzling view of a sun-filled meadow, but it is equally an exploration of the physical act of painting.

    While some conservative critics greeted Bunker’s Impressionism with disdain, his innovative combination of American subjects with French techniques soon became the leading style in American art. Bunker did not live to enjoy its success; he died just a year after making this painting, two months after his twenty-ninth birthday.

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

    Signed

    Lower left: D. M. BUNKER/1889

    Provenance

    Arthur Tracy Cabot (b. 1852 - d. 1912), Boston; by inheritance to his widow (and residuary legatee), Susan Shattuck Cabot, Boston; 1945, sold by the estate of Arthur Tracy Cabot to the MFA for $125. (Accession Date: May 10, 1945)

    Credit Line

    Emily L. Ainsley Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    46.99 x 61.59 cm (18 1/2 x 24 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    45.475

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Cypresses of the Villa d'Este, Tivoli

    about 1885
    Ettore Roesler Franz (Italian, 1845–1907 Italian)

    Description

    Signed

    Lowre right: E. Roesler Franz/Roma

    Provenance

    Purchased from an exhibition of English watercolors in January, 1886

    Credit Line

    Benjamin Pierce Cheney Donation

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 79.5 x 56.5 cm (31 5/16 x 22 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    86.1

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite on paper

    Not On View

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  • Salt Marshes, Newburyport, Massachusetts

    Salt Marshes, Newport, Rhode Island

    about 1866–76
    Artist Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: M.J. Heade

    Provenance

    About 1866-1876, the artist. Mrs. Bailey Fraser, Newton, Mass. 1945, with A. Frederick Mondschein, New York; 1945, sold by A. Frederick Mondschein to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1947, gift of Maxim Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1947)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    39.37 x 76.83 cm (15 1/2 x 30 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1152

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Gallery (Gallery 235)

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  • Cloudy Day, Rhode Island

    1861
    Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)

    Description

    This early marsh scene already shows Heade’s mastery of composition and his sensitivity to the changeability of weather. The primary focus is the dense atmosphere of threatening rain. The two figures, a fisherman and a child, appear to be African American-an interesting detail, as the nation was on the brink of the Civil War.

    Inscription

    Lower left: M J Heade/1861; lower right, on fence rail: M.J. Heade/1861

    Provenance

    The artist; auction, Brooklyn, New York; with Victor Spark, New York, 1944; with Macbeth, New York, 1945; to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I., 1945; to MFA, 1947, gift of Maxim Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    29.53 x 64.45 cm (11 5/8 x 25 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1158

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Storm in the Mountains

    about 1870
    Albert Bierstadt (American (born in Germany), 1830–1902)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: ABierstadt [AB in monogram]

    Provenance

    About 1870, the artist, until his death in 1902. With Rholfs, Brooklyn. About 1913, George Good, Brooklyn; by descent to his wife, Mrs. George Good. 1946, with Miss Francis Tarbox, N.Y.; 1946, with John Mitchell, N.Y.; 1946, sold by John Mitchell to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1947, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1947)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    96.52 x 152.72 cm (38 x 60 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1257

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Penny and Jeff Vinik Gallery (Gallery 233)

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  • Sunset on Long Beach

    about 1867
    Artist Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)

    Description

    In an oeuvre of 650 known oils, Heade painted more than 150 salt-marsh landscapes. No two are identical. The earliest feature the area near Newburyport, Massachusetts, located north of Boston; further south and closer to the city, he worked in Lynn and Marshfield, as well as along the Connecticut, Long Island, and New Jersey shores. Heade continued to paint marsh subjects after he moved to Florida in 1883. His last two dated works are a northern and a southern marsh executed the year of his death, 1904 (locationsof both unknown). It can be difficult to determine the exact location of his landscapes, since Heade was less interested in the specificity of topography than in capturing the effects of changing light and weather. Sunset on Long Beach belongs to a group of marshes Heade executed between the mid-1860s and mid-1870s, a prolific period of work that resulted in some of his classic wetland scenes, including Salt Marshes, Newburyport, Massachusetts[47.1152]. This sunset is dated to around 1867 because of its similarity to another composition, Ipswich Marshes (New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut), that Heade signed and dated that year.

    Sunset on Long Beach came into the MFA’s collection with this title. It may be a view across the wetlands of southern Long Island, New York, toward the Atlantic Ocean (which is visible at the left dotted with sailboats) near the present city of Long Beach. In this scene, the landscape is bathed in the glowing pinks of the setting sun. Heade achieved this luminosity by carefully building up his colors with delicate, thin glazes (pigments diluted with oil). These are especially evident in the cigar-shaped clouds and the sun itself, where pink and lavender tones are applied over a thicker white. Heade’s individual brushstrokes are imperceptible in the faint clouds visible in the background over the horizon—a masterful suggestion of atmosphere. In the foreground, he tinged the grasses with flecks of orange and pink, contrasting them with the lush greens. He used long strokes of green and orange, partially blended together, to create the recession of the marsh into the distance. Small haystacks, unlike the larger specimens Heade featured in other compositions [47.1152], help to emphasize the vast expanse of the landscape. Fair-weather cumulus lenticularis clouds reinforce the horizontal nature of this painting, and Heade further emphasized the breadth of the marsh by the shape of the canvas he selected—it is more than twice as wide as it is high. A masterpiece of the subtle effects of light and color, this is one of Heade’s most serene and evocative works.

    Karen E. Quinn

    Inscription

    Lower right: M J Heade

    Provenance

    By 1944, private collection, Brooklyn, New York; 1944, with Victor Spark, New York; 1945, with Macbeth Gallery, New York; 1945, sold by Macbeth Gallery to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1947, gift of Maxim Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1947)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    25.72 x 55.88 cm (10 1/8 x 22 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1159

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Gallery (Gallery 235)

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  • Harvesters Resting (Ruth and Boaz)

    1850–53
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Provenance

    1853, sold by the artist to Martin Brimmer (b. 1829 - d. 1896), Boston [see note 1]; by descent to his wife, Marianne Timmins Brimmer (b. 1827 - d. 1906), Boston; 1906, bequest of Mrs. Martin Brimmer to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 11, 1906) NOTES: [1] Millet exhibited this painting at the Salon of 1853 (as "Le repos des Moissonneurs"), where Mr. Brimmer purchased it. See E. Durand-Gréville, "La Peinture aux États-Unis," Gazette des Beaux-Arts 36 (1887): 67.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. Martin Brimmer

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Murphy 39

    Dimensions

    67.3 x 119.7 cm (26 1/2 x 47 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    06.2421

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Buckwheat Harvest

    1868–70
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J. F. Millet

    Provenance

    Commissioned from the artist by Emile Gavet; June 11-12, 1875, sold by Gavet at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, no. 52, and bought by Martin Brimmer, Boston; 1875-1896, Mr. Martin Brimmer, Boston; 1896, inherited by Mrs. Martin Brimmer (wife); 1906, bequeathed to the MFA by Mrs. Martin Brimmer (Accession Date: November 8, 1906)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. Martin Brimmer

    Details

    Dimensions

    75.9 x 97.8 cm (29 7/8 x 38 1/2 in.) 74 x 95.8 cm (29 1/8 x 37 3/4 in.) design

    Accession Number

    06.2425

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel and black conté crayon on light brown wove paper

    Not On View

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    Europe, Prints and Drawings

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    Pastels

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  • Morning Sunlight

    about 1895
    Charles Harold Davis (American, 1856–1933)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: C.H. DAVIS.

    Provenance

    The artist; with Doll and Richards, Boston; to George H. Champlin, Boston, 1895; to MFA, 1911, gift of the estate of Mrs. George H. (J.M.) Champlin. Through E. O. Swift and Reverend D. D. Addison, Executors.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Estate of Mrs. J. M. Champlin

    Details

    Dimensions

    50.8 x 76.52 cm (20 x 30 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    11.1278

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Meadow with Poplars

    about 1875
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    This painting is an early representation of grainstacks and poplars, subjects to which Monet would return in his series paintings of the 1890s. But this landscape reflects his primary concern in the 1870s: rendering air and depth through color. Contrasting highlights (red and green, purple and yellow), picked out in bright impasto, seem to bring the foreground closer to the viewer, while cool tones of more fluidly applied paint suggest the background’s recession to a hazy distance.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Claude Monet

    Provenance

    1878, sold by the artist to M. Du Fresnay [see note 1]; 1894, sold by Du Fresnay to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 3060); from Durand-Ruel, Paris to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 1234); 1897, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to J. Eastman Chase Gallery, Boston [see note 2], for 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 3]. (Accession Date: November 1, 1923) NOTES: [1] See Daniel Wildenstein, "Monet: catalogue raisonné" (1996), vol. 2, p. 155, cat. no. 378. [2] The information about Durand-Ruel's transactions comes from a letter from Durand-Ruel, Paris, to the MFA (April 18, 1962; in MFA curatorial file). [3] 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

    54.6 x 65.4 cm (21 1/2 x 25 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.505

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Willows by a Stream

    1908
    Pascal Adolphe Jean Dagnan-Bouveret (French, 1852–1929)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed and Dated Lower right: PAJ DAGNAN-B 1908

    Provenance

    Until 1916, Eben Dyer Jordan (b. 1857 - d. 1916), Boston; by inheritance to his son, Robert Jordan (d. 1932), Boston; 1924, gift of Robert Jordan to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 17, 1924)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Robert Jordan from the collection of Eben D. Jordan

    Details

    Dimensions

    65.4 x 81.3 cm (25 3/4 x 32 in.)

    Accession Number

    24.216

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • A Buckwheat Field on Thomas Cole's Farm

    1863
    Thomas Charles Farrer (English, 1839–1891 (active in the United States about 1857–1872 English)

    Description

    “A Buckwheat Field on Thomas Cole’s Farm” is at once a beautiful panorama of the Hudson River, a painting that pays homage to Cole, the father of American landscape painting, and a prime example of the style promoted by the short-lived American Pre-Raphaelite movement. The London-born Farrer had studied under British critic and artist John Ruskin and absorbed his scrupulous realism, his meticulous attention to detail and finish, and his championing of humble details from nature as suitable subjects for high art. When he arrived in the United States in the late 1850s, Farrer helped to found the American Pre-Raphaelite movement, which was based on Ruskin’s teachings and the ideas of the English Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (founded in 1848). The Brotherhood rejected academicism and turned to nature for inspiration; their canvases, influence by Ruskin’s insistence on “truth to nature,” were often painted “en plein air”and with bright colors.

    In 1863, Farrer spent the summer in Catskill, New York with fellow Pre-Raphaelite artist Charles Herbert Moore [“North Conway, New Hampshire,” 56.373]. Among Farrer’s earliest finished landscapes was “A Buckwheat Field on Thomas Cole’s Farm,” in which he captured the view from a field in Catskill, on the west bank of the Hudson River, looking northeast toward Hudson, New York on the opposite shore (near the present-day Rip Van Winkle Bridge). He noted his progress in landscape painting in a letter to the editor of the “New York Daily Tribune” in 1867: “ten years ago I could not paint or draw a single tree, bird, stone or flower accurately, and had not even made an attempt to paint from nature. Late in the season of 1859 I made my first effort to paint out of doors. Even as late as the Summer of 1862 (only five years ago) I had made but one finished oil study from nature…”(quoted in May Brawley Hill’s entry in Linda S. Ferber and William H. Gerdts, “The New Path: Ruskin and the American Pre-Raphaelites,” Brooklyn, N. Y.: Brooklyn Museum, 1985, p. 163). By 1863, Farrer had honed his skills sufficiently to undertake the painting of “A Buckwheat Field on Thomas Cole’s Farm.”

    Farrer chose his scene with care; the field in the foreground was formerly part of Thomas Cole’s farm. Cole, a fellow Englishman, had arrived in America in 1818, and had settled in Catskill in 1836. He was the founder of the Hudson River School of landscape painting, and many of his followers also settled in the Hudson River Valley. In 1860, for example, Frederic Church, one of Cole’s students, had purchased land in Hudson on which he was to build his remarkable villa “Olana”. The site was just to the south of Farrer’s scene, where the village of Hudson is visible in the very center.

    While Cole portrayed the American landscape in a variety of ways from topographical views [“River in the Catskills,” 47.1201] to imaginative landscapes imbued with philosophical, moral, or religious meaning [“Expulsion from the Garden of Eden,” 47.1188], Farrer’s work emphasized the topographical. Farrer chose a long canvas - the length is more than twice the height - to emphasize the breadth of his view, which celebrates, as Cole had done, the distinctive American scenery. His style, however, was different from Cole’s. Farrer favored tiny, precise brushwork to render the details of his landscapes, whereas Cole used more liquid brush strokes and concentrated on the larger masses. “A Buckwheat Field on Thomas Cole’s Farm” is striking for the meticulous detail and crystal-clear features of the scene, the play of light on the waters of the Hudson, and the use of lavender and blue in the foreground shadows. Charles Herbert Moore rendered the same scene from a vantage point on the bank of the river in a similar precise style (“Hudson River, Above Catskill,” 1865, Amon Carter Museum).

    Farrer exhibited “A Buckwheat Field on Thomas Cole’s Farm” together with “The Catskills, from the Village” (location unknown) at the National Academy of Design in 1864, to mixed reviews. The critic for “The Continental Monthly” observed in Farrer’s paintings “a painful stiffness”, and “the absence of one of the most prominent elements of beauty and interest… namely, mystery.” The critic concluded that, “In these pictures of Mr. Farrer we fail to find any trace of atmosphere, and hence they strike us as bald, hard, cold, and unnatural.” (“An Hour in the Gallery of the National Academy of Design,” The Continental Monthly, vol. 5, June, 1864, p. 688). Clarence Cook, who was an admirer of Ruskin and an advocate for Pre-Raphaelite movement in America, wrote in “New York Daily Tribune” on May 21, 1864, “These two pictures are made forever precious and valuable by the faithful record of the truth of Nature that is in every square inch of them.” But even as sympathetic critic as Cook declared that, “there is scarcely anything in them which rises to the rank of art; and that, while there is abundant reason for the interest they excite, and large promise for the future in them, yet there is also very good cause for the dislike which many persons have for them” (quoted in Ferber and Gerdts, p. 163). The writer for “The New Path,” the journal for the Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art which Farrer helped to found in 1863, was the only reviewer who was wholly positive about Farrer’s landscapes. The critic described “the broad blue lake-like expanse of the Hudson, veined as it were with cloudy white, where the summer wind goes by, and dotted with snowy sails…” and found the purple shadows cast by the cedar trees, “so lovely a chord of color it is not often our good fortune to see…” concluding that “all of this beauty comes of following Nature” (quoted in Ferber and Gerdts, p. 163).

    Farrer was probably not surprised by the critical reception his paintings received. As one of the leaders of the American Pre-Raphaelite movement and as its main link to Ruskin, he had championed the new principles of truth to nature, meticulously detailed naturalism, and completion of work out-of-doors. He had defended these artistic principles in an article entitled “A Few Questions Answered” in “The New Path” in June 1863. However, the labor intensiveness of the Pre-Raphaelite style contained the seeds of its demise. The rewards for the artists’ painstaking work were meager. And beyond a small circle, the public did not respond positively to the Pre-Raphaelite paintings. By 1865, “The New Path” had ceased publication. While Ruskinian ideas continued to flourish at Harvard University (see Theodore Stebbins, et al, “The Last Ruskinians: Charles Eliot Norton, Charles Herbert Moore, and Their Circle,” Cambridge: Harvard University Art Museums, 2007), the American Pre-Raphaelite movement in New York waned. Farrer eventually returned to England in 1872. Although the flowering of the movement was brief and the body of work produced by its members relatively small, many exquisite paintings, including “A Buckwheat Field on Thomas Cole’s Farm,” were produced.

    Janet Comey

    Inscription

    Lower right: TCF 63 [TCF in monogram];

    Provenance

    By 1955, with H. Grossman, Boston; 1955, sold by H. Grossman to Charles D. Childs, Boston; 1955, sold by Charles D. Childs to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1962, gift of Maxim Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 14, 1962)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    29.84 x 64.13 cm (11 3/4 x 25 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    62.265

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas, Europe

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  • The Seine at Chatou

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

    Description

    Renoir renders this radiant landscape of the Seine just west of Paris with carefully differentiated brushwork, from the long, feathery strokes of the waving grasses to small, thick touches for the flowering trees. Renoir wrote to a friend at the time of the painting, “I’m struggling with trees in flower, with women and children, and I don’t want to look at anything else.”

    Inscription

    Lower right: Renoir

    Provenance

    August 25, 1891, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 1326) [see note 1]; from Durand-Ruel, Paris to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 1324); January 26, 1900, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York to Mrs. Blair. 1901, J. M. Sehley, New York [see note 2]; March 4, 1901, sold by J. M. Sehley to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 2511); March 5, 1906, sold by Durand-Ruel to Arthur Brewster Emmons (b. 1850 - d. 1922), Newport, R.I., and New York; 1919, gift of Arthur Brewster Emmons to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 11, 1919) NOTES: [1] The provenance was provided in a letter from Durand-Ruel, Paris to the MFA (January 4, 1962; in MFA curatorial file). [2] In the letter of 1962 (see above, n. 1), Durand-Ruel identified this collector only as "Mr. Sehley"; notes in the MFA curatorial file, however, identify him as J. M. Sehley of New York. It is possible that this was not, in fact, a Mr. Sehley, but James Montfort Schley (b. 1852 - d. 1924), a prominent New York physician.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur Brewster Emmons

    Details

    Dimensions

    73.3 x 92.4 cm (28 7/8 x 36 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.771

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Cottage in the Dunes

    Jean Charles Cazin (French, 1841–1901)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: J C. CAZIN

    Provenance

    1894, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, France [see note 1]; September, 1894, sold by Georges Petit to M. Knoedler and Co., London and Paris (stock no. 987) [see note 2]; September 21, 1894, sold by Knoedler, Paris to Knoedler, New York (stock no. 7634); October 1, 1894, sold by Knoedler to William R. Wilson, Boston; 1915, gift of William R. Wilson to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1915) NOTES: [1] George Petit was probably an agent for Cazin so it is likely that the gallery acquired this directly from the artist (information supplied by Getty Provenance Index). [2] Information on the Knoedler transactions is taken from a letter from Lelia Wittler, Knoedler, New York, to the MFA (February 3, 1940). Online, see the Getty Provenance Index, M. Knoedler and Co. records, PI record number K-14822 (Stock book 4, no. 7634, p. 191). http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/provenance/

    Credit Line

    William R. Wilson Donation

    Details

    Dimensions

    46 x 55.5 cm (18 1/8 x 21 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    15.882

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Road at La Cavée, Pourville

    1882
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Monet had begun to experiment with X-shaped compositions as early as 1863-64. Here, almost twenty years later, he has refined the schema and simultaneously clothed it in an active surface pattern of indescribable subtlety. Despite the uncertain continuance of the path, this is a welcoming, pleasant place. The path nestles between two soft mounds. In the Western tradition, landforms are often discussed in sensuous terms in relation to the human body. By this date Monet’s paintings only rarely included the human figure. If one were present here, the scene would take on an anecdotal air, and the force of the geometry and suggestiveness of the landscape would be diminished. Without a figure, this painting invites, seduces, comforts, and promises, on an optical as well as an animal level, the component parts of which are impossible to disentangle.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Claude Monet 82

    Provenance

    October 10, 1882, possibly sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris and sold in 1883 [see note 1]. 1888, Georges Girard, Paris; March 9, 1888, sold by Girard to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 1445); 1888, sold by Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock nos. 408 and 346); June 6, 1888, sold by Durand-Ruel to Williams and Everett, Boston. By 1898, Charles Fairchild (b. 1838 - d. 1910), Boston, Newport, and New York [see note 2]; October 22, 1900, sold by Charles Fairchild to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 2373); April 3, 1903, sold by Durand-Ruel to William Caleb Loring (b. 1851 - d. 1930), Beverly, MA; by descent to his wife, Susan Mason Loring (b. 1852 - d. 1923), Beverly; 1924, bequest of Mrs. Susan Mason Loring to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 6, 1924) NOTES: [1] The provenance was provided in a letter from Paul Durand-Ruel, Durand-Ruel et Cie., to the MFA (December 6, 2001). According to this letter, Monet sold the Galerie Durand-Ruel four paintings titled "Chemin de la Cavée, Pourville" on October 10, 1882, all of which were sold by the gallery in 1883. As no photographic records exist from that time it is not possible to state definitively that the MFA painting was one of the four sold. [2] The painting was first consigned by Mr. Fairchild to Durand-Ruel on December 3, 1898.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. Susan Mason Loring

    Details

    Dimensions

    60.3 x 81.6 cm (23 3/4 x 32 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    24.1755

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Out on Loan

    On display at The National Gallery, London, March 4, 2015 – May 31, 2015

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  • Poppy Field in a Hollow near Giverny

    1885
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Monet and his fellow Impressionists believed that art should express its own time and place and that it should do so in an appropriately modern style. In the 1860s and 1870s, working primarily outdoors, the Impressionists observed that objects seen in strong light lose definition and appear to blend into one another. No clear outlines exist in this sunny landscape. Its forms and textures are suggested by the size, shape, and direction of the brushstrokes, and the juxtaposition of complementary reds and greens gives the painting a vibrant intensity. By the mid-1880s, most members of the original group had turned away from Impressionism, but Monet declared: “I am still an Impressionist and will always remain one.”

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 85

    Provenance

    September 1885, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 1]; probably sold by Durand-Ruel to Mr. and Mrs. Albert Spencer, Paris and New York [see note 2]; March 24, 1911, sold by Mrs. Spencer to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 9548); 1911, sold by Durand-Ruel, Paris to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 3459); 1911, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to Arthur B. Emmons (d. 1922), Newport, R.I. [see note 3]; January 14-15, 1920, Emmons sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 31, to Durand-Ruel for Robert Jacob Edwards (d. 1924), Boston; 1925, bequest of Robert J. Edwards to the MFA. [see note 4] (Accession Date: April 2, 1925) NOTES: [1] Daniel Wildenstein, "Monet: Catalogue Raisonné" (1996), vol. 3, p. 377, cat. no. 1000. [2] Albert Spencer is mentioned among the collectors with whom Durand-Ruel dealt by Anne Distel, "Impressionism: The First Collectors," trans. Barbara Perroud-Benson (New York: Abrams, 1990), 242. According to Wildenstein (as above, n. 1) the Spencers owned the painting by 1886. [3] A handwritten note in the curatorial file (November 14, 1939) states that, according to Herbert Elfers of Durand-Ruel, this painting was purchased from Durand-Ruel, Paris, on September 16, 1911 and sold to Emmons on September 29, 1911. However, according to a later letter from Durand-Ruel to the MFA (1962), the sale to Emmons was on August 23, 1911. [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

    Catalogue Raisonné

    W. 1000

    Dimensions

    65.1 x 81.3 cm (25 5/8 x 32 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.106

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Grainstack (Sunset)

    1891
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    In 1890 and 1891, Monet painted a group of pictures of the stacks of wheat (referred to as grainstacks or haystacks) in the fields near his home, exhibiting them as a series to great critical acclaim in 1891. Traditionally, the motifs in Monet’s series paintings have been seen merely as vehicles through which he could explore the interaction of light, color, and form over the course of the day and in different weather conditions. But scholars have recently proposed that Monet was equally interested in the meaning and significance of the motifs themselves. Grainstacks, for example, are traditional symbols of the land’s fertility, the local farmers’ material wealth, and the region’s prosperity.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 91

    Provenance

    September 1891, possibly sold by the artist to Hamman for M. Knoedler and Co., New York [see note 1]. By 1905, James F. Sutton (b. 1849 - d. 1915), New York [see note 2]; 1915, by inheritance to his widow, Florence May Sutton (b. about 1853), New York; January 17, 1917, Sutton sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 156, to Durand-Ruel, New York and Paris; 1917, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York to Robert J. Edwards (d. 1924), Boston; 1925, bequest of Robert J. Edwards to the MFA. [see note 3]. (Accession Date: April 2, 1925) NOTES: [1] Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue Raisonné (1996), vol. 3, p. 502, cat. no. 1289. [2] Lent to the "Loan Collection of Paintings by Claude Monet," Copley Society of Boston, March, 1905, cat. no. 66. [3] 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

    73.3 x 92.7 cm (28 7/8 x 36 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.112

    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

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  • Cap Martin, near Menton

    1884
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    This picture belongs to a group Monet painted on the French Riviera in April 1884. We stand on the eastern side of the cape, looking across the bay towards the Maritime Alps. Monet was drawn back to the Mediterranean coast, which he had visited with Renoir the previous December, for the intensity of its light. To suggest the sky’s airy expanse, he left much of the upper portion in reserve, indicating the contours of cloud and mountain with a few sketchy strokes.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Claude Monet 84

    Provenance

    May 1884, possibly sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris; September 1886, possibly sent by Durand-Ruel to the American Art Association, New York [see note 1]. Probably acquired from the American Art Association by James F. Sutton (b. 1849 - d. 1915), New York [see note 2]; 1915, by inheritance to his widow, Florence Macy Sutton (b. about 1853), New York; January 17, 1917, Sutton sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 144, to Durand-Ruel, New York; 1917, sold by Durand-Ruel to Robert J. Edwards (d. 1924), Hannah Marcy Edwards (d. 1929), and Grace Edwards (d. 1938), Boston; 1925, bequest and gift of the Edwards to the MFA [see note 3]. (Accession Date: April 2, 1925) NOTES: [1] See Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue Raisonné (1996), vol. 2: 335-336, no. 897. [2] James Sutton was one of the founding members of the American Art Association in New York. He certainly owned the painting by 1891, when he lent it to an exhibition at the Union Club, New York (Feb. 12-14, 1891). [3] Durand-Ruel sold this painting to "the Misses Edwards" in 1917 (letter from Herbert Elfers, Durand-Ruel, to Charles C. Cunningham, MFA, August 22, 1939). It was subsequently lent to the MFA under the name of Robert Edwards. 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

    67.2 x 81.6 cm (26 7/16 x 32 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.128

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • At the Races in the Countryside

    1869
    Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917)

    Description

    This painting was one of the first works that Degas sold (in 1872) to Paul Durand-Ruel, the dealer who became the early champion of the Impressionists. It is not only a landscape but also a scene from everyday life and - most of all - a family portrait. The driver of the carriage is Degas’s friend Paul Valpinçon, who is shown with his wife, a wet nurse, and in the nurse’s lap, the couple’s son, Henri.
    With its subtly ironic title - the races play a minor role in the composition - the painting was among the artist’s contributions to the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Degas

    Provenance

    September 17, 1872, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 1910) [see note 1]; October 12, 1872, sent to Durand-Ruel, London; April 25, 1873, sold by Durand-Ruel through Charles Deschamps, Paris, to Jean-Baptiste Faure (b. 1830 -d. 1914), Paris; January 2, 1893, sold by Faure to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 2566); March 29, 1918, deposited with the Durand-Ruel family, Les Balans; December 20, 1926, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York to the MFA for $30,000. (Accession Date: December 20, 1926) NOTES: [1] The provenance given here is taken from Jean Sutherland Boggs, "Degas at the Races" (exh. cat. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1998), p. 248, cat. no. 38.

    Credit Line

    1931 Purchase Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    36.5 x 55.9 cm (14 3/8 x 22 in.)

    Accession Number

    26.790

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Meadow at Giverny

    1886
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    “Meadow at Giverny” does not have an obvious focal point: no figure, structure, or natural feature attracts the viewer’s attention. The high-keyed palette and, especially, the insistence on pattern further contribute to our sense of it as a decorative painting, in the best sense of the term - as a work concerned, above all, with the very qualities of color and pattern. It is also a painting of loneliness. The only element that breaks from the pattern of horizontals is the tree in the background that frees itself from its neighbors. Were the tree a human figure, it could be described as displaying itself against the sky in a gesture of defiance or triumph. A tree is not a human being, of course, yet the temptation to read the one for the other is strong. This tree is isolated, mirroring the position of the viewer looking at this deserted, if colorful, meadow.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Claude Monet

    Provenance

    1898, purchased from the artist by Galerie Georges Petit, Bernheim-Jeune, and Montaignac, Paris (?). With Jos Hessel, Paris. By 1914, Alexandre Berthier, Prince de Wagram (d. 1918), Paris; April 14, 1914, sold by Berthier to Durand-Ruel, Paris, (stock no. 10519); November 11, 1915, transferred from Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 3897); March 20; 1916, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to Hannah Marcy Edwards (d. 1929), Boston; 1929, by inheritance to Grace M. Edwards (d. 1938), Boston; 1939, bequest of Hannah M. Edwards to the MFA [see note 1]. (Accession Date: October 11, 1939) NOTES: [1] 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

    92.1 x 81.6 cm (36 1/4 x 32 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    39.670

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Rocky Crags at L'Estaque

    1882
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919)

    Description

    Most of Renoir’s landscape paintings were done in the countryside surrounding Paris. This view of a cliff at l’Estaque, near the Mediterranean port of Marseilles, was painted when Renoir was visiting his friend Paul Cézanne, who painted several views of the same site.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Renoir 82.

    Provenance

    1891, probably sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 1]; transferred from Durand-Ruel, Paris to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 193-1191); February 25, 1892, sold by Durand-Ruel, possibly to Catholina Lambert (b. 1834 - d. 1923), Patterson, NJ [see note 2]. By 1915, Robert J. Edwards (d. 1924), Boston [see note 3]; 1924, by inheritance to his sister, Hannah Marcy Edwards (d. 1929), Boston; 1929, by inheritance 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] Information about the Durand-Ruel transactions is taken from a letter from Charles Durand-Ruel to Angelica Rudenstine of the MFA (February 20, 1962, in MFA curatorial file). Also see "Renoir" (exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, January 30 - April 21, 1985), p. 233, cat. no. 64, where it is suggested that Renoir deposited this painting as early as 1883 with Durand-Ruel, where it was exhibited it as "Campagne de L'Estaque." [2] The letter from Durand-Ruel (as above, n. 1) states that the picture was sold to "Caroline Lambert," though it is possible that Mr. Catholina Lambert of Patterson, NJ, was intended. He was a significant collector of European paintings. [3] According to notes in the MFA curatorial file, he lent the painting to the MFA in that year. [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

    66.4 x 81.0 cm (26 1/8 x 31 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    39.678

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Women and a White Horse

    1903
    Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903)

    Description

    At the end of his life, immobilized by chronic syphilis and heart disease, Gauguin continued to paint the lush landscapes that surrounded his house on Hiva Oa, a Pacific island in the remote Marquesas chain. A Technicolor cascade of mountainside and tropical vegetation frames the frieze-like group of three native women and a white horse, an animal sometimes associated in the artist’s work with death or transcendence. On the hilltop above stands a single cross—a rare acknowledgment by Gauguin of French missionary activity in Polynesia. It marks the cemetery where the artist’s body was laid to rest shortly after he completed the painting.

    Inscription

    Lower right: P. Gaugin 1903

    Provenance

    Gustave Fayet (b. 1865 - d. 1925), Igny, France [see note 1]. 1906, acquired by Carl Moll (b. 1861 - d. 1945), Vienna [see note 2]; October 31, 1908, sold by Moll to Bernheim-Jeune et Fils, Paris (stock no. 16884) [see note 3]; September 14, 1909, sold by Bernheim-Jeune to Ambroise Vollard (b. 1867 - d. 1939), Paris; 1928, still with Vollard [see note 4]. 1929, Paul Rosenberg and Co., Paris and New York; October 24, 1929, sold by Rosenberg 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] The early provenance (to 1909) is based on information provided by Georges Wildenstein, Gauguin (Paris, 1964), vol. 1, pp. 270-271, cat. no. 636. [2] The painter Carl Moll, who ran the Galerie Miethke in Vienna, wrote to Karl Ernst Osthaus on November 26, 1906 about a Gauguin landscape from 1903 that he had just acquired--almost certainly a reference to the MFA painting--as well as acquisitions he had made in Paris. Moll organized a Gauguin exhibition at the Galerie Miethke in the spring of 1907, but it cannot be determined from the checklist whether this painting was included. See Peter Kropmanns, "Peitschenhiebe statt Zuckerbrot. Zur frühen Gauguin-Rezeption in Wien," in Paul Gauguin: von der Bretagne nach Tahiti. Ein Aufbruch zur Moderne (Graz, 2000), pp. 133-135. [3] Wildenstein (as above, n. 1) does not make it explicit that Moll was the seller; however, at least one other painting by Gauguin that had belonged to Moll (Wildenstein, cat. no. 311) was acquired by Bernheim-Jeune on this date. [4] Vollard lent the painting to the exhibition "Paul Gauguin" (Kunsthalle, Basel, July-August, 1928), cat. no. 107.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    73.3 x 91.7 cm (28 7/8 x 36 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.547

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Charlotte F. and Irving W. Rabb Gallery (Gallery 155)

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  • Bridge in the Mountains

    1898
    Jean Baptiste Armand Guillaumin (French, 1841–1927)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Guillaumin

    Provenance

    By 1906, with Tadamasa Hayashi (b. 1853 – d. 1906), Tokyo; January 8, 1913, sold at posthumous Hayashi sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 152, to Galerie Durand-Ruel, New York; November 18, 1921, sold by Durand-Ruel to John Taylor Spaulding, Boston, MA (b. 1870 - d. 1948); 1948, bequest of Mr. Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    65.4 x 81.9 cm (25 3/4 x 32 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.560

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Landscape on the Coast, near Menton

    1883
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Renoir. 83.

    Provenance

    August 25, 1891, purchased by Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 1462) [see note 1]; April 7, 1897, sold by Durand-Ruel, Paris to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 1848); July 25, 1923, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York to Annie Swan (Mrs. Lewis Larned) Coburn (b. 1856 - d. 1932), Chicago [see note 2]. 1924, Durand-Ruel, New York; December 1, 1924, 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) NOTES: [1] According to a letter from Durand-Ruel to the MFA (September 4, 1998), the gallery purchased the painting on August 25, 1891; it is not known from whom. [2] Correspondence from Durand-Ruel, New York to John Taylor Spaulding (May 15, 1924) states that the gallery purchased the painting directly from the artist, sold it in Paris to the Prince de Wagram, and after the prince's death in 1918, acquired it again. However, in 1998, Durand-Ruel (as above, n. 1) provided the MFA with a copy of notes from their archives (July 26, 1923), indicating that the New York branch of the gallery acquired the painting in 1897 and sold it to Mrs. A. S. Coburn in 1923. The stock and photograph numbers identified with the painting sold to Mrs. Coburn are also found on the reverse of the MFA painting's original stretcher. It is therefore likely that in 1924, the MFA composition was confused with another painting and an incorrect provenance was provided.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Accession Number

    48.596

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Ravine

    1889
    Vincent van Gogh (Dutch (worked in France), 1853–1890)

    Description

    In June 1889, shortly after his arrival at an asylum in the southern French town of Saint-Rémy, van Gogh painted a riotous study of a flowering hillside. He sent a pen-and-ink copy of the painting to his brother in early July. Months later, in October, the artist found himself without fresh canvas on which to paint and decided to sacrifice the study of wild vegetation to paint this view of the mountainous ravine near the asylum. Recent collaborative research by conservators and curators has revealed the presence of the lost painting beneath the Boston canvas. For more on this discovery, see: http://www.mfa.org/dynamic/sub/ctr_link_url_5023.pdf.

    Provenance

    1890, passed from the artist to his brother, Theo van Gogh (b. 1857 - d. 1891), Paris [see note 1]. By 1908, Prince Alexandre Berthier de Wagram (d. 1918), Paris. Barbazanges Art Gallery, Paris. By 1918, J. B. Stang, Oslo [see note 2]. 1926, Leicester Galleries, London [see note 3]. 1928, with Galerie Thannhauser, Lucerne and Berlin [see note 4]; 1928 or 1929, sold by Thannhauser to Keith McLeod, Boston [see note 5]; 1952, bequest of Keith McLeod to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 16, 1952) NOTES: [1] This painting can be identified with the "Ravine" sent by the artist to his brother in January of 1890. Paul Gauguin greatly admired the picture, and it is possible that Theo van Gogh exchanged it with him; Gauguin subsequently deposited his pictures with Chaudet and Amedée Schuffenecker, Paris, when he sailed for Tahiti. [2] Stang lent the picture to the exhibition "Den Franske Utstilling" (I Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo, January-February, 1918), cat. no. 102. [3] The painting was exhibited at the Leicester Galleries, November - December 1926, cat. no. 24. [4] A letter from an unidentified individual (signature illegible) to Keith McLeod (August 26, 1928) in the MFA curatorial file discusses the Ravine, then in the possession of Thannhauser. He notes it had been brought from Lucerne. [5] The picture was lent by McLeod to the "First Loan Exhibition" at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 8 - December 7, 1929, cat. no. 84.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Keith McLeod

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    F662

    Dimensions

    73 x 91.7 cm (28 3/4 x 36 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    52.1524

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Grainstack (Snow Effect)

    1891
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    In 1890 and 1891, Monet painted a group of pictures of the stacks of wheat (referred to as grainstacks or haystacks) in the fields near his home, exhibiting them as a series to great critical acclaim in 1891. Traditionally, the motifs in Monet’s series paintings have been seen merely as vehicles through which he could explore the interaction of light, color, and form over the course of the day and in different weather conditions. But scholars have recently proposed that Monet was equally interested in the meaning and significance of the motifs themselves. Grainstacks, for example, are traditional symbols of the land’s fertility, the local farmers’ material wealth, and the region’s prosperity.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 91

    Provenance

    May 9, 1891, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris; June 30, 1891, sold by Durand-Ruel to Horatio Appleton Lamb (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; by descent to his daughters, Aimée Lamb (b. 1893 - d. 1989) and Rosamond Lamb (b. 1898 - d. 1989), Boston; 1970, gift of Misses Aimée and Rosamond Lamb to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 11, 1970) NOTES: [1] According to a letter from Durand-Ruel, Paris to Lucretia H. Giese of the MFA (May 14, 1968).

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Aimée and Miss Rosamond Lamb in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Horatio Appleton Lamb

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Wildenstein cat. no. 1280

    Dimensions

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

    Accession Number

    1970.253

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Woodgatherers at the Edge of the Forest

    about 1863
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: C. Monet

    Provenance

    Amanté, Paris [see note 1]. A. and R. Ball, New York [see note 2]. By 1961, Harold Kaplan, Boston; 1968, gift from Harold Kaplan to the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA; 1968, sold by Rose Art Museum to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1974) NOTES: [1] Daniel Wildenstein, "Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné," vol. 1, 1840-1881 (Paris, 1974), p. 128, cat. no. 18. [2] John Rewald, "The History of Impressionism" (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1961), p. 97.

    Credit Line

    Henry H. and Zoe Oliver Sherman Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    59.7 x 90.2 cm (23 1/2 x 35 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1974.325

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Landscape with Two Breton Women

    1889
    Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903)

    Description

    Between 1886 and 1891 Gauguin spent extended periods in the rural community of Pont-Aven, Brittany, in northwestern France. There he painted scenes of everyday life invested with symbolic, even religious, significance. Here two Breton peasants sit in the shade. The right-hand figure seems at first to be praying, but in fact she’s eating—holding a piece of fruit, perhaps, in her left hand and a knife in her right. The painting demonstrates a shift in Gauguin’s style away from the brushy, Impressionistic manner of his early career towards the broad, flat expanses of color that characterize his Tahitian pictures.

    Inscription

    Lower left: P. Gaugin 89

    Provenance

    February 23, 1891, Gauguin sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 23 (no. 24 in the procès-verbaux) to Ker-Xavier Roussel, (b. 1867 - d. 1944), Paris, for 280 fr.; owned jointly by Roussel, Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard (b. 1868 - d. 1940), Frédéric Henry, and Julien Magnin [see note 1]; 1905, acquired fully by Vuillard [see note 2]; 1940, by inheritance to Vuillard's nephew (and Roussel's son), Jacques Roussel, Paris; 1954, sold by Jacques Roussel to Georges Maratier for Jean Davray, Paris; 1964, sold by Davray to Alex Maguy, Paris; 1964, sold by Maguy to Harry and Mildred Remis, Boston; 1976, partial gift of Harry and Mildred Remis to the MFA; 2001, remaining interest passed by descent to Robert and Ruth Remis, Boston; 2007, gift of Robert and Ruth Remis to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 12, 2007) NOTES: [1] As suggested by the correspondence of Frédéric Henry, an architect and intimate friend of Edouard Vuillard, from November 17 and December 24, 1905, it is possible that Pierre Hermant (a composer), Paul Percheron (a businessman and mystic), and Henri Roussel (K.-X. Roussel's brother, a doctor) were also joint owners of this painting (see letter from Juliet Bareau to Barbara Shapiro, March 11, 1985, in MFA curatorial file). [2] In a letter from Daniel Wildenstein to Barbara Shapiro (January 28, 1976; in MFA curatorial file), the family of Vuillard and Roussel are said to have provided the following information: Sérusier, Denis, Bonnard, Vuillard, and Roussel bought this painting jointly in 1891 to help Gauguin, and rotated it among themselves for specified periods of time. This arrangement soon grew impossible and it was Vuillard who finally paid back the other four owners and kept the painting for himself. When he died, his nephew and Roussel's son, Jacques Roussel, inherited it. This is supplemented by information provided in the correspondence of Frédéric Henry (see above, n. 1) that Julien Magnin was in possession of the painting at the time of his death in October 1905, at which time the remaining joint owners drew lots to establish sole ownership. Presumably Vuillard acquired it in this way.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Harry and Mildred Remis and Robert and Ruth Remis

    Details

    Dimensions

    72.4 x 91.4 cm (28 1/2 x 36 in.)

    Accession Number

    1976.42

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Charlotte F. and Irving W. Rabb Gallery (Gallery 155)

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  • Landscape With Figure Near Pond and Cottages

    Léon Richet (French, 1847–1907)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Leon Richet

    Provenance

    1986, bequest of Maurice Ames Charles. (Accession Date: October 22, 1986)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Maurice Ames Charles

    Details

    Dimensions

    40 x 64.8 cm (15 3/4 x 25 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1986.573

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Enclosed Field with Ploughman

    October 1889
    Vincent van Gogh (Dutch (worked in France), 1853–1890)

    Description

    Provenance

    1890, passed from the artist to his brother, Theo van Gogh (b. 1857 - d. 1891), Paris; 1891, probably by descent from Theo van Gogh either to his sister, Wilhelmina van Gogh, or to his widow, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger (b. 1862 - d. 1925); 1894-95, possibly sold by Johanna van Gogh-Bonger to Emile Schuffenecker or Julien Moline [see note 1]. By 1920, to Josse and Gaston Bernheim-Jeune, Paris [see note 2]; possibly sold by Bernheim-Jeune to Matthew Justice, Dundee, Scotland [see note 3]; by 1925, probably sold by Justice to William Boyd (b. about 1873 - d. 1941), Claremont, West Ferry (near Dundee); 1929, still with Boyd [see note 4]. 1936, Arthur Tooth and Sons, London; August 26, 1936, sold by Tooth 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] In "Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cassirer, Berlin" (Zwolle, 1988), Walter Feilchenfeldt suggests the painting belonged to the artist's sister, Wilhelmina van Gogh. In a letter of January 24, 1992 (in MFA curatorial file), Mr. Feilchenfeldt reverses his opinion, suggesting that the picture was, rather, sold by Johanna van Gogh-Bonger in 1894-95, either to Emile Schuffenecker or to Julien Moline. Subsequently, in a letter of January 13, 2003 (in MFA curatorial file) he reintroduces the possibility that it was in Wilhelmina's possession. [2] Letter from Guy-Patrice Dauberville, Bernheim-Jeune & Co. (March 20, 1992); it is not known when and how Josse and Gaston Bernheim-Jeune acquired the painting, nor when and how it left their possession. Walter Feilchenfeldt (letter of January 13, 2003; cited above, n. 1) has suggested that the painting may have acquired by the Bernheim-Jeune family as early as before the turn of the twentieth century. The gallery exhibited the work in 1904 and 1908, though it is not known who owned it at the time. [3] Justice was a collector and art dealer. Madeleine Korn, "Collecting paintings by Van Gogh in Britain before the Second World War," Van Gogh Museum Journal, 2002, 134-35, cites a letter from A. J. McNeill Reid to Douglas Cooper (April 9, 1953) stating that Justice "went off to Bernheim-Jeune, got quite a few pictures on sale, bought a few more, and did a good deal of business with Boyd." [4] Korn 2002 (as above, n. 3), 134-35, states that Justice sold this painting to Boyd. According to information provided by Frances Fowle, to be published in "Van Gogh and Britain: Pioneer Collectors" (Edinburgh, 2006), McNeill Reid commented in an earlier letter to Cooper (April 5, 1953) on "a couple of Van Goghs [Boyd] bought through Justice." Boyd lent the painting (then called "La Charrue" or "The Plow") to the "Loan Collection of Pictures, Centenary of the Norwich Museum" (Norwich Museum, October 24 - November 1, 1925), cat. no. 64 and to the Royal Scottish Academy (Edinburgh, 1929), cat. no. 354. However, Korn 2002 (as above, n. 3), 136, records the painting as being with C. E. Dix in 1928. She has suggested (verbally, December 14, 2005) that around this time it was with the dealer Arthur Tooth, implying that Tooth either sold it to or purchased it from Dix in 1928. This contradicts the evidence that Boyd owned it until at least 1929, and remains unconfirmed.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of William A. Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    54.0 x 65.4 cm (21 1/4 x 25 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1993.37

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Resting — Montigny-sur-Loing

    1888
    Ernest Lee Major (American, 1864–1950)

    Description

    In 1885 Major began his three years of study in Europe by enrolling at the Académie Julian in Paris, and the acceptance of his work at the Salon each year from 1886 to 1889 confirmed his early success. It is clear from “Resting-Montigny-sur-Loing” that Major also became aware of the avant-garde developments in Paris, especially the peasant pictures of Pissarro.
    Rural and peasant motifs had become increasingly popular in both France and America in the 1870s and 1880s. Paintings by Millet and Jules Breton were especially sought after in American galleries and auction houses. Like Pissarro, Major adopted those rural themes, rendering his workers with a more modern Impressionist vocabulary. Major portrayed his farm women in Montigny-sur-Loing, a village southeast of Paris on the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau, between Moret, where Sisley was working, and Grèz, an important artists’ colony. In his idealized vision of rustic life, Major surrounded the women resting on farm implements with a halo of light, which makes them stand out from the background of rambling stone farm buildings. Integrating his academic training in figure painting and traditional composition with Impressionist techniques, Major ably captured the effect of sunlight on this pastoral scene, using broken brushwork and a light palette.

    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: Ernest L. Major./ Montigny s/Loing — 1888—

    Provenance

    The artist; the Morris family; to MFA, 1993, gift of the Morris Family.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Morris Family

    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Accession Number

    1993.901

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Racehorses at Longchamp

    1871, possibly reworked in 1874
    Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917)

    Description

    Horse racing, a luxury sport imported from England, enjoyed a vogue in 19th-century Paris. Built on the Western edge of the city in 1857, the Longchamp racetrack drew fashionable spectators, including Degas, whose love for horses was matched only by his attachment to the ballet. This scene of jockeys and their mounts milling beside the track at the end of a race was the first Degas painting purchased by an American museum.

    Inscription

    Lower left: E Degas

    Provenance

    1894, possibly Théodore Duret (b. 1838 - d. 1927), Paris; March 19, 1894, possibly Duret sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, lot 14, bought in [see note 1]. 1900, Bernheim-Jeune, Paris [see note 2]; February 10, 1900, sold by Bernheim-Jeune to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 5689); deposited with Cassirer, Berlin; June 10, 1900, returned from Cassirer to Durand-Ruel, Paris; December 19, 1900, deposited with M. Whitaker, Montreal; February 18 or 20, 1901 [see note 3], sold by Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 2464); March 27, 1901, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to Mrs. William H. Moore, New York; April 1, 1901, sold by Mrs. Moore to Durand-Ruel, New York; 1903, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to the MFA for $12,000. (Accession Date: April 28, 1903) NOTES: [1] This painting may be the "Chevaux de courses" by Degas, measuring 32 x 40 cm, bought in Duret's name for 1400 francs. See Merete Bodelson, "Early Impressionist Sales 1874 - 94 in the light of some unpublished 'procès-verbaux,'" Burlington Magazine, June, 1968, p. 346. [2] The following provenance (between 1900 and 1903) comes from a letter from Charles Durand-Ruel to Angelica Rudenstine of the MFA (February 13, 1964; in MFA curatorial file) and Jean Sutherland Boggs et al., "Degas at the Races" (exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1998), p. 250, cat. no. 49. [3] Boggs et al. (as above, n. 2) give the date of the sale as February 18; Charles Durand-Ruel gives the date as February 20.

    Credit Line

    S. A. Denio Collection—Sylvanus Adams Denio Fund and General Income

    Details

    Dimensions

    34.0 x 41.9 cm (13 3/8 x 16 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    03.1034

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Flower Beds at Vétheuil

    1881
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 81

    Provenance

    1881 or 1891, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 1]; 1913, sold by Durand-Ruel to John Pickering Lyman (b. 1847? - d. 1914), Portsmouth, NH; 1914, by descent to Theodora Lyman (d. 1919), Portsmouth; 1919, gift of Miss Theodora Lyman to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 18, 1919) NOTES: [1] According to Daniel Wildenstein, "Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné" (Paris, 1974), p. 410, cat. no. 693, Monet sold this painting to Durand-Ruel in December, 1881. Notes in the MFA curatorial file give the date as 1891.

    Credit Line

    The John Pickering Lyman Collection—Gift of Miss Theodora Lyman

    Details

    Dimensions

    Unframed: 92.1 x 73.3 cm (36 1/4 x 28 7/8 in.) Framed: 93 cm (36 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.1313

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Seacoast at Trouville

    1881
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    A single tree, deformed by the constant buffeting of onshore winds, is the central motif of this painting by Monet. Because the horizon line is effaced in a haze of creamy blue strokes, there is no sense of recession into the distance. Such an abstract field behind the tree deprives it of volume, so that it reads as a flat pattern on the surface. This pattern is so dominant that its outline determines the shapes of other forms in the painting. Not only do the low blue bushes that extend from one edge of the canvas to the other echo the general form of the tree’s foliage, but the very ground answers the bending motion in low hillocks parallel or related to the tree’s angle. Although the tree’s form is dominant and determines so many other shapes in the painting, the tree in itself is almost ephemeral, for it is barely rooted in the soil. The painting is thus an exercise in pattern making rather than a naturalistic description of a place.

    Inscription

    Lower right: 81. Claude Monet

    Provenance

    By June 1882, possibly sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris, France; August 1883, sold by Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, France. By 1888, Leroux, Paris; February 27-28, 1888, sold at Leroux sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, no. 61, and bought by Durand-Ruel, Paris; 1888, most likely sold by Durand-Ruel to Mrs. Catholina Lambert, Paterson, NJ; February 28, 1899, sold by Mrs. Catholina Lambert to Durand-Ruel, New York; from 1899 through 1907, with Durand-Ruel, New York, no. 2122; April 13, 1907, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York, to John Pickering Lyman, Portsmouth, N.H.; 1907 John Pickering Lyman, Portsmouth, NH (d. 1914); 1914, after his death, inherited by Miss Theodora Lyman (d. 1919); 1919, gift of Theodora Lyman. (Accession Date: September 18, 1919)

    Credit Line

    The John Pickering Lyman Collection—Gift of Miss Theodora Lyman

    Details

    Dimensions

    60.7 x 81.3 cm (23 7/8 x 32 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.1314

    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

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  • Cottages in the Snow

    1891
    Johan Frederik Thaulow (Norwegian, 1847–1906)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Frits Thaulow

    Provenance

    By 1923, David P. Kimball, d. 1923, 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

    50.2 x 61 cm (19 3/4 x 24 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.523

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

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    Pastels

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  • Valley of the Petite Creuse

    1889
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    The striking effects of Monet’s several paintings of the Creuse Valley in central France are achieved through complex, superimposed layers of color, as he combined bold brushstrokes with intricate passages made up of many small touches. Delayed by bad weather while painting his Creuse scenes, Monet hired workmen to strip the newly budded leaves from a tree in the valley so that he would not have to change his composition.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 89

    Provenance

    October 31, 1890, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 711) [see note 1]; from Durand-Ruel, Paris to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 776); April 9, 1891, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York to J. Eastman Chase Gallery, Boston, for Clara Bertram Kimball, Boston; by inheritance to her husband, David P. Kimball (d. 1923); 1923, bequest of David P. Kimball to the MFA [see note 2]. (Accession Date: November 1, 1923) NOTES: [1] The provenance given here (through 1891) is taken from a letter from Durand-Ruel, Paris to the MFA (April 18, 1962; in MFA curatorial file). [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

    65.4 x 81.3 cm (25 3/4 x 32 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.541

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Valley of the Creuse (Sunlight Effect)

    1889
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 89

    Provenance

    June 20, 1889, sold by the artist to Boussod, Valadon et Cie., Paris; February 16, 1891, sold by Boussod, Valadon et Cie. to Williams and Everett, New York [see note 1]. By 1905, James F. Sutton (b. 1849 - d. 1915), New York [see note 2]; 1915, by inheritance to his widow, Florence May Sutton (b. about 1853), New York; January 17, 1917, Sutton sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 153, to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 4066); February 2, 1924, sold by Durand-Ruel to Grace M. Edwards (d. 1938), Boston; 1924, her brother, Robert Jacob Edwards (d. 1924), Boston; 1925, bequest of Robert J. Edwards to the MFA. [see note 3]. (Accession Date: April 2, 1925) NOTES: [1] As "Les eaux semblantes (Creuse)". Getty Provenance Index, Goupil et Cie. Records, PI-number G-29409, stock book 12, no. 19919, p. 111. Also see Daniel Wildenstein, Monet: Catalogue Raisonné (1996), vol. 3, p. 465, no. 1219. [2] Lent to the "Loan Collection of Paintings by Claude Monet," Copley Society of Boston, March, 1905, cat. no. 28. [3] Grace M. Edwards probably purchased the painting for her brother, Robert. 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

    65.1 x 92.4 cm (25 5/8 x 36 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.107

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Long Branch, New Jersey

    1869
    Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: WINSLOW HOMER/1869

    Provenance

    Until at least 1870, the artist. Feb. 13, 1874, sale, Leonard & Co., Boston. Before 1906, Robert W. Vonnoh (1858-1933), Philadelphia; given by Vonnoh to Sherrill Babcock, New York in partial payment of a bill; about 1936, by descent to his wife, Mrs. Sherrell Babcock, New York. 1936, with Frank K. M. Rehn, New York. By 1941, with Knoedler & Co., N.Y.; 1941, sold by Knoedler & Co. to the MFA for $2,800. (Accession Date: September 11, 1941)

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    40.64 x 55.24 cm (16 x 21 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    41.631

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Barbara and Theodore Alfond Gallery (Gallery 234)

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  • Meadow with Haystacks near Giverny

    1885
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    In this painting of primarily blue, green, and violet hues, the eye is drawn to the lighter and brighter streaks of yellow. These represent sunlight that has broken through the trees on the right, trees that glow from within with captured light. Color and light had always been Monet’s primary interests; at Giverny in the mid-1880s, he began to give himself up entirely to their exploration.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Claude Monet 85

    Provenance

    December 1885, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 1]. 1886, with Bernheim-Jeune, Paris. 1886, with Durand-Ruel, New York. 1897, J. Eastman Chase Gallery, Boston. By 1899, acquired by Lilla Cabot Perry (b. 1848 - d. 1933) for her brother, Arthur Tracy Cabot (b. 1852 - d. 1912), Boston [see note 2]; by inheritance to his widow, Susan Shattuck Cabot; 1942, bequest of Arthur Tracy Cabot to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 12, 1942) NOTES: [1] The provenance given here (through 1897) is taken from Daniel Wildenstein, "Monet: catalogue raisonné" (1996), vol. 3, cat. no. 995. [2] According to a letter from Henry L. Shattuck to W. G. Constable of the MFA (November 23, 1942; in MFA curatorial file), Lilla Cabot Perry acquired this painting for her brother. He lent it to the exhibition "A Loan Exhibition of Pictures by Claude Monet," St. Botolph Club, Boston, February 6 - 23, 1899, cat. no. 2.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Dr. Arthur Tracy Cabot

    Details

    Dimensions

    74.0 x 93.5 cm (29 1/8 x 36 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    42.541

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • The Pond

    about 1877–79
    Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906)

    Description

    In the early 1870s, Cézanne was living in Auvers, a small town outside Paris, and learning to work directly from nature. The Pond is painted in small, parallel strokes of blues and greens, an early version of the distinctive brushwork that plays a key role in the construction of Cézanne’s mature paintings. Here, figures are placed boldly against the landscape. Cézanne would more fully integrate figure and landscape in his many later paintings of bathers.

    Provenance

    Probably about 1870s-1880s, sold by the artist by Gustave Caillebotte (b. 1848 - d. 1894), Paris [see note 1]; at his death, by inheritance to his brother, Martial Caillebotte, Paris [see note 2]; by descent to Gustave Caillebotte's nephew, G. Chardeau, Paris; sold by Chardeau to André Weil Gallery, Paris and Matignon Art Galleries, New York [see note 3]; 1948, sold by André Weil and Matignon Art Galleries to the MFA for $35,000. (Accession Date: February 12, 1948) Notes [1] Caillebotte began to buy his friends' paintings soon after they were created, including several by Cézanne. [2] Caillebotte bequeathed his collection to the Musée de Luxembourg, Paris, though it was only partially accepted. This painting was one of the works refused; see John Rewald, "The Paintings of Paul Cézanne" (New York, 1996), vol. 1, p. 258. According to information supplied by the Getty Provenance Index, Martial Caillebotte, one of the executors of his brother's estate, received the rejected portion of the bequest. [3] According to an undated copy of a letter from Mr. Chardeau to André Weil, in the MFA curatorial file.

    Credit Line

    Tompkins Collection—Arthur Gordon Tompkins Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    47.0 x 56.2 cm (18 1/2 x 22 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.244

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • The Water Lily Pond

    1900
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    In 1883, Monet settled in the village of Giverny, about forty miles from Paris, and purchased a house there in 1890. Shortly thereafter, he acquired an additional plot of land, where he constructed a picturesque water garden. A Japanese bridge spanned the pond at its narrowest point. This is among the first of Monet’s paintings to emphasize the reflections of the bank and the sky on the flat surface of the water.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 1900

    Provenance

    December 1900, sold by the artist by Léonce Rosenberg (b. 1877 - d. 1947), Paris [see note 1]. 1923, Léon Orosdi, Paris [see note 2]; May 25, 1923, posthumous Orosdi sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 41, to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 12162); November 27, 1926, sold by Durand-Ruel to Alvan Tufts Fuller (b. 1878 - d. 1958), Boston [see note 3]; 1959, the Alvan T. Fuller Foundation, Inc., Boston; 1961, gift of the Alvan T. Fuller Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 20, 1961) NOTES: [1] See Daniel Wildenstein, "Monet: Catalogue Raisonné," vol. 4 (1996), p. 731, cat. no. 1630. [2] According to a letter from Durand-Ruel, Paris, to the MFA (1962; in MFA curatorial file), Orosdi purchased almost all of his paintings from Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, although it cannot be confirmed that he acquired this painting from that gallery. [3] Information about Durand-Ruel's transactions is taken from a letter from Durand-Ruel to the MFA (as above, n. 2). Durand-Ruel states that this painting was sold to Mr. Fuller on November 27, 1927; however, he first lent it to the MFA on January 7 of that year. It is possible that the year of the sale was written incorrectly in the letter.

    Credit Line

    Given in memory of Governor Alvan T. Fuller by the Fuller Foundation

    Details

    Dimensions

    90.2 x 92.7 cm (35 1/2 x 36 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    61.959

    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

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  • Skiers at the Top of a Snow-covered Hill

    1894
    Johan Frederik Thaulow (Norwegian, 1847–1906)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Frits Thaulow 94

    Provenance

    Probably Horatio Appleton Lamb (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; probably by descent to his daughters, Aimée Lamb (b. 1893 - d. 1989) and Rosamond Lamb (b. 1898 - d. 1989), Boston; 1978, gift of Misses Aimée and Rosamond Lamb to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 10, 1979) NOTES: [1] Horatio Appleton Lamb was a Boston collector who left many works of art to his daughters, Aimée and Rosamond Lamb. While it has not been established when or how he acquired this painting, he purchased a pastel by Thaulow in Paris in 1891 (MFA accession no. 1972.980), and he may have acquired this around the same time.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Aimée and Miss Rosamond Lamb

    Details

    Dimensions

    52.7 x 98.4 cm (20 3/4 x 38 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1978.681

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Elevator Lobby and Corridor near Founders ( 340.4)

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  • Summer

    about 1860–70
    Gustave Doré (French, 1832–1883)

    Description

    Doré, best known for illustrations of the Bible and Dante’s Divine Comedy, painted many landscapes of Switzerland, Scotland, and France, but this work is unique. A slice of nature from a bug’s-eye view, it seems to be an allegory of rejuvenation and the transience of life. Hollyhocks, morning-glories, dandelions, daisies, thistles, and other weeds battle for survival, and butterflies and dragonflies feed on them. The scythe, a traditional symbol of death, lies rusting in the foreground, and in contrast to the luxuriance of nature, a ruined building is moldering in the background.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Gve Dore

    Provenance

    De Vries; by 1871, sold by De Vries to Richard Baker [see note 1]; 1873, gift of Richard Baker to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 24, 1873) NOTES: [1] According to notes in the curatorial file, Baker lent the painting to the Boston Atheneum as early as 1871. The location of "De Vries" is unclear; notes suggest it was in either Paris or Boston. A letter from George W. Wales to Henry P. Kidder (September 21, 1876), indicates that "Mrs. Baker says her husband purchased this said Painting of Mr. de Vries and gave it to the Museum -- she said she thought the purchase was made at your suggestion." Kidder was among the founding trustees of the MFA and served as treasurer from 1870 until his death in 1886.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Richard Baker

    Details

    Dimensions

    266.4 x 200.1 cm (104 7/8 x 78 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    73.8

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Landscape near Dieppe

    Constant Troyon (French, 1810–1865)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: C. T R O Y O N

    Provenance

    By 1884 with Thomas Gold Appleton. Boston, MA, USA (from the artist?); 1884, Boston, MA, USA. Museum of Fine Arts (bequest of Appleton) (Accession date: June 2, 1884)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Thomas Gold Appleton

    Details

    Dimensions

    52.4 x 81.9 cm (20 5/8 x 32 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    84.275

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Sheep and Shepherd in a Landscape

    about 1854
    Constant Troyon (French, 1810–1865)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: C. T R O Y O N

    Provenance

    By 1864, with Auguste de Charliere. 1884, Thomas Gold Appleton, Boston; 1884, bequest of Thomas Gold Appleton to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 2, 1884)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Thomas Gold Appleton

    Details

    Dimensions

    34.9 x 45.1 cm (13 3/4 x 17 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    84.276

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Landscape with a Peasant Watering her Cows

    Théodore Rousseau (French, 1812–1867)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: T H. Rousseau

    Provenance

    1884, Thomas Gold Appleton (b. 1812 - d. 1884), Boston; 1884, bequest of Thomas Gold Appleton to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 2, 1884)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Thomas Gold Appleton

    Details

    Dimensions

    26.4 x 38.1 cm (10 3/8 x 15 in.)

    Accession Number

    84.277

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Forest of Fontainebleau

    1846
    Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796–1875)

    Description

    Corot based this painting on sketches made in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just south of Paris, where he had worked since the 1820s. The artist reworked his sketches into a carefully structured composition, with the horizontals of foreground and background balanced by the verticals of trees, and the cows positioned to mark recession into space. Nevertheless, the acceptance of this work for the Salon of 1846 was a landmark event in the history of French landscape painting, for it depicts an ordinary, easily recognized local site without the “justification” of a noble human subject.

    Inscription

    Lower left: COROT

    Provenance

    February 5-6, 1872, contributed by the artist to the Auguste Anastasi sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris [see note 1], lot 26, sold to Alfred Robaut (b. 1830 - d. 1909), Paris [see note 2]; 1878, still with Robaut [see note 3]; possibly sold by Robaut to Louis Latouche; sold by Latouche to Ferdinand Barbédienne (b. 1810 - d. 1892), Paris [see note 4]; 1881, sold by Barbédienne to Thomas Robinson for Seth Morton Vose (b. 1831 - d. 1910) [see note 5]; by 1884, sold by Vose to Beriah Wall, Providence, RI [see note 6]; March 30 - April 1, 1886, Wall sale, American Art Galleries, New York, lot 263, to Seth Morton Vose for Susan Cornelia Clarke (Mrs. Samuel Dennis) Warren (b. 1825 - d. 1901), Boston; 1890, gift of Mrs. Samuel Dennis Warren to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 2, 1890) NOTES: [1] Several artists contributed works of art to this auction to raise money for the painter Auguste Anastasi (b. 1820 - d. 1889), who had become blind. [2] Alfred Robaut, "L'oeuvre de Corot, catalogue raisonné et illustré" (Paris, 1905), cat. no. 502. [3] He lent the painting to Durand-Ruel in 1878; see Robaut (as above, n. 2). [4] Louis Latouche's part in these transactions was suggested by Robert Vose in a letter to Charles Cunningham of the MFA (November 9, 1937; in MFA curatorial file); also see Achille Oudinot's comments in the "Catalogue of the Private Collections of Modern Paintings belonging to Mr. Beriah Wall and John A. Brown," American Art Galleries, March 30 - April 1, 1886, p. 93. [5] See "Catalogue of the Private Collections of ... Beriah Wall and John A. Brown" (as above, n. 4), p. 93 and the letter from Robert Vose (as above, n. 4). Vose had the painting imported to the United States. The date of the sale is recorded in notes in the MFA curatorial file. [6] It was in his possession by 1884; see the "Illustrated Catalogue of the Art Collection of Beriah Wall, Providence, R. I." (Providence, 1884), cat. no. 27.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Samuel Dennis Warren

    Details

    Dimensions

    90.2 x 128.8 cm (35 1/2 x 50 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.199

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Wooded Stream

    1859
    Théodore Rousseau (French, 1812–1867)

    Description

    Rousseau was the central figure of the so-called Barbizon School of painters, named for a village on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau, near Paris, where these artists often worked. United by a love for their native landscape, they determined to paint the world around them as they observed it, instead of restructuring it according to the idealizing conventions established by centuries of tradition. In their commitment to direct visual response to nature and their interest in the effects of changing seasons and times of day, the Barbizon artists were important precursors of the Impressionists.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Paris 185[...]Lower right: T H. Rousseau

    Provenance

    Possibly by 1879, Thomas Wigglesworth (b. 1814 - d. 1906 or 1907), Boston [see note 1]; by descent to his niece, Jane Norton (Mrs. Henry S.) Grew, Boston; 1917, gift of Mrs. Henry S. Grew to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917) NOTES: [1] According to notes in the MFA curatorial file, Wigglesworth may have lent this painting to the Boston Art Club in 1879.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Henry Sturgis Grew

    Details

    Dimensions

    53.3 x 74.6 cm (21 x 29 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1461

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

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

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  • End of the Hamlet of Gruchy

    1866
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Representing the hamlet in Normandy where Millet grew up, the son of prosperous peasants, this painting contributed to the artist’s image as a “peasant painter.” He presented it as a distillation of his youth, writing to his agent, “Oh you spaces that made me dream so much in my childhood, will I ever be able to give a hint of what you are like?” The landscape was based on memory and on studies done some ten years before.

    Inscription

    Lower right: J. F. Millet

    Provenance

    1866, sold by the artist to Hector Brame (b. 1831 - d. 1899) and Antoine-François Monmartel (b. 1816 - d. 1898), Paris [see note 1]; May 11-14, 1868, Monmartel sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 55, to Hector Brame [see note 2]; probably sold by Brame and Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Jean-Baptiste Faure (b. 1830 - d. 1914), Paris [see note 3]; June 7, 1873, Faure sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, lot 26, probably to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 4]. By 1879, Quincy Adams Shaw (b. 1825 - d. 1908), Boston [see note 5]; 1917, gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917) NOTES: [1] See Etienne Moreau-Nélaton, "Millet racconté par lui-même" (Paris, 1921), vol. 3, p. 5. Monmartel lent the painting to the Salon of 1866 (no. 1376). [2] See Alfred Sensier, "La vie et l'oeuvre de J.-F. Millet" (Paris, 1881), p. 292, n. 1. [3] Hector Brame was an art dealer who worked with Durand-Ruel. It is likely that they sold this painting to Faure. For a summary of Brame's work as a dealer, see Linda Whitely, "Brame, Hector" in the Grove Dictionary of Art (New York, 1996). [4] Durand-Ruel purchased 22 of the 31 paintings included in this sale; see Anthea Callen, "Faure and Manet," Gazette des Beaux-Arts, ser. 6, vol. 83 (1974), p. 160. [5] Published as in the Shaw collection by Edward Strahan, ed., "The Art Treasures of America" (Philadelphia, 1879), vol. 3, p. 86.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Dimensions

    81.6 x 100.6 cm (32 1/8 x 39 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1508

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Path through the Wheat

    about 1867
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Millet’s biographer Alfred Sensier quoted him as saying, “If I could do what I wanted, or at least attempt it, I would do nothing that was not the result of an impression received from nature, be it in landscapes or figures.” In many works, impressions from nature were combined with inspiration from other artistic sources. A sixteenth-century engraving of Summer provided the basis for elements of this very fine pastel.

    Inscription

    Lower right: J. F. Millet

    Provenance

    Commissioned from the artist by Emile Gavet, Paris; sold by Gavet at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 11-12, 1875, lot no. 86, and bought by Détrimont (probably for Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston). Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston; 1917, given to the MFA by Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr. and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton. (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Dimensions

    40 x 50.8 cm (15 3/4 x 20 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1521

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel and black conté crayon on gray wove paper

    Not On View

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  • Little Goose Girl

    1868
    Jean-François Millet (French, 1814–1875)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: J. F. Millet

    Provenance

    Commissioned from the artist by Emile Gavet; June 11-12, 1875, sold by Gavet at Hôtel Drouot, Paris, no. 33, and bought by Carlin. Quincy Adams Shaw, Boston; 1917, given to the MFA by Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy A. Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton (Accession Date: March 29, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Quincy Adams Shaw through Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and Mrs. Marian Shaw Haughton

    Details

    Dimensions

    41.9 x 52.1 cm (16 1/2 x 20 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1527

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel and black conté crayon on green wove paper

    Not On View

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  • Landscape with Sheep and Old Well

    about 1857
    Elihu Vedder (American, 1836–1923)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: E. Vedder.

    Provenance

    The artist; Charles Sumner; to MFA, 1874, bequest of Charles Sumner.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Charles Sumner

    Details

    Dimensions

    38.1 x 72.71 cm (15 x 28 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    74.15

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Morning on the Seine, near Giverny

    1897
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Monet traveled as far north as Norway and as far south as Venice to look for different motifs, but he always returned to the places he knew best. He painted the river Seine in Paris, Argenteuil, Vétheuil, and where it emptied into the English Channel. He turned to it again in 1896 and 1897 for his series of canvases showing how it looked at dawn. This version is notable for its softness. Its colors of pinkish mauve, cool blues, and greens are matched with large, simple, and rounded shapes. With the point of view suspended over the water, we are made to feel weightless, perhaps even bodiless. Almost symmetrical reflections threaten to disorient us, but Monet has left enough clues to let us know which way is up.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 97

    Provenance

    June 18, 1909, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris (stock no. 9102) [see note 1]; 1909, from Durand-Ruel, Paris to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 3328); October 22, 1909, sold by Durand-Ruel, New York to James Viles, Chicago; March 1, 1911, sold by Viles to Durand-Ruel, New York (stock no. 3418); March 7, 1911, sold by Durand-Ruel to Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz (Henrietta Goddard Wigglesworth) (b. 1847 - d. 1927), Boston; 1911, gift of Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 6, 1911) NOTES: [1] The provenance information was provided in a letter from Durand-Ruel et Cie., Paris, to the MFA (April 18, 1962; in MFA curatorial file).

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. W. Scott Fitz

    Details

    Dimensions

    81.3 x 92.7 cm (32 x 36 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    11.1261

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Pool in the Forest

    early 1850s
    Théodore Rousseau (French, 1812–1867)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: T H Rousseau

    Provenance

    Possibly with M. Garnier, Paris. By 1909, Robert Dawson Evans (b. 1843 - d. 1909), Boston; 1909, by inheritance to Mrs. Robert Dawson Evans (Maria Antoinette Hunt) (b. 1845 - d. 1917), Boston; 1917, bequest of Mrs. Robert Dawson Evans to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 1, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Robert Dawson Evans Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 39.4 x 57.4cm (15 1/2 x 22 5/8in.)

    Accession Number

    17.3241

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Spring Hillside

    1899–1902
    John Joseph Enneking (American, 1841–1916)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Enneking/99-2/Enneking.

    Provenance

    The artist; George A. Kettell; to his heirs; to MFA, 1913, gift of the heirs of George A. Kettell.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the heirs of George A. Kettell

    Details

    Dimensions

    62.55 x 87.63 cm (24 5/8 x 34 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    13.474

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • La Blanchisseuse

    1890
    Frederic Porter Vinton (American, 1846–1911)

    Description

    In June 1889, Vinton and his wife traveled to Europe for eighteen months, spending part of their sojourn in Grez-sur-Loing, a village on the southeastern edge of the forest of Fontainebleau, about two hours by train from Paris. Artists had been drawn to this rural village by the picturesque Loing River, stone bridge, and medieval church, and an international art colony arose there after 1875.
    During this trip to France, Vinton visited the French Impressionist painter Alfred Sisley in nearby Moret, and the two artists walked along the Loing River [1993.44], which Sisley had so often portrayed. Further down that same river, Vinton executed this plein air painting of a woman washing clothes. Images of laundresses are abundant; they were popular especially with such French artists as Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard in the eighteenth century and Edgar Degas in the nineteenth century. Although washerwomen were sometimes represented as seductresses, Vinton’s hard-working blanchisseuse, with her tub and the wooden box in which she kneels to keep her own clothes dry, provided an interesting subject for his new-found skill in Impressionist effects. With fluid brushstrokes, Vinton rendered the foliage of the trees and the reflections in the river. Dazzling daubs of white paint indicate white laundry and the sun dappling the river’s edge. Vinton seems to have painted La Blanchisseuse for his own pleasure; it remained with him and was never exhibited until his death.

    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).

    Provenance

    1890, the artist; 1911, by descent to his wife, Mrs. Frederic Vinton, Boston. About 1913, Alexander Cochrane (1840-1919), Boston; 1913, gift of Alexander Cochrane to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 1, 1913)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Alexander Cochrane

    Details

    Dimensions

    46.35 x 60.96 cm (18 1/4 x 24 in.)

    Accession Number

    13.554

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Croll Gallery (Gallery 227)

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  • River in the Catskills

    1843
    Thomas Cole (American (born in England), 1801–1848)

    Description

    At first glance, Thomas Cole’s River in the Catskills may seem like a typical nineteenth-century landscape, but it is in fact unusual among American landscapes of its time. Inspired by British notions of the picturesque found in natural scenery and Cole’s own writings on landscape, River in the Catskills presents an idyllic pastoral world removed from the realities of modern industrialization and urbanization. But one small detail, found upon close inspection of the background, sets it apart: a steam locomotive, an unequivocal symbol of industrial development. This work is considered to be the earliest known American oil painting to depict a train.
    Cole’s decision to incorporate a train into his natural landscape may refer to the artist’s well-known writings about the destructive impact of industry on nature, particularly his 1836 “Essay on American Scenery.”[1]His ambivalent attitude was shared by many of his contemporaries, who witnessed their world being dramatically transformed, in both positive and negative ways, during the Industrial Revolution. In general, nineteenth-century Americans used the term improvement to refer to modernization, and understood industrialization as necessary to progress, but anxieties lay beneath. Improvement solved certain social ills, like socioeconomic disparity, but created others, like the disease pandemics of newly crowded urban cities. Industrialization also came at the expense of the natural landscape. In his essay, Cole described the process of creating an agrarian landscape out of the American wilderness as the “ravages of the axe.”[2]Thus, while River in the Catskills embraces certain pastoral landscape conventions by depicting a pasture, livestock, and lush greenery, it also subverts this tradition with its image of the train, a sign of improvement, or modernization. Such an observation has led art historian Alan Wallach to describe this painting as an “antipastoral.” [3]

    As an uncommissioned work, River in the Catskills stands out among Cole’s several other painted versions of the natural scenery of the Catskills. The artist had moved to the town of Catskill in 1836 with his new wife, Maria Bartow. Over the years he had witnessed the town, also a major shipping port, grow and then decline, with an ultimately unfinished railroad development project that was in process for over ten years. In addition to squandering large sums of money and causing local conflict, the advent of the railroad worried local residents who treasured their familiar natural scenery. It was in this atmosphere that Cole began painting, and thus perhaps preserving, the landscape that surrounded him. Yet River in the Catskills diverges from Cole’s other renditions in its exploration of the tensions between nature and industry. Unlike other versions of the scene, this composition limits the lush greenery and includes the train, along with other markers of encroaching civilization: a collection of houses—probably a town—also appears; steam or smoke rises from the horizon, possibly indicating the presence of another train or a factory. In the foreground stands the scene’s main figure, a man in an eye-catching red coat, holding an axe, amidst a clearing of fallen trees. The attention drawn to the figure raises the question of man’s relationship to nature. Does the path to civilization and its improvements come only at the expense of clearing away the untouched American landscape?

    Notes
    1. Thomas Cole, “Essay on American Scenery,” The American Monthly Magazine, January 1836, 1–12.
    2. Ibid., 12.
    3. Alan Wallach, “Thomas Cole’s ‘River in the Catskills’ as Antipastoral,” Art Bulletin 84, no. 2 (June 2002): 334–50.

    Rachel Tolano

    Inscription

    Lower left: T Cole/1843

    Provenance

    1848, G.F. Allen, New York. 1934-5, with Rains Gallery, New York; with Prosper Guerry, New York; 1935, with J.H. Weitzner, New York; 1935, Parker Morse Hooper, Fall River, Mass.; 1944, with Charles D. Childs, Boston; 1944, sold by Charles D. Childs to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1947, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1947)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    69.85 x 102.55 cm (27 1/2 x 40 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1201

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Waleska Evans James Gallery (Gallery 236)

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