John Gast (active 1870s) Angel signed and dated 'John Gast./1871.' (lower left) oil on board 13 x 18 in. (33 x 45.7 cm.)
Private collection, North Carolina.
John Gast was known in his native Saint Louis, Missouri as an artist of architectural and botanical studies, having included drawings in the Saint Louis Agricultural & Mechanical Association Exhibitions of 1866 and 1870. In 1872, publicist George Crofutt commissioned Gast to paint a romanticized vision of westward expansion. The result was Gast's only known masterwork, American Progress, which was sold at Christie's, New York on May 28, 1992. Angel possibly relates to American Progress, an icon of the 19th century philosophy of Manifest Destiny.