A Sketch Near Manchester, Massachusetts
bears estate stamp (on reverse prior to lining)
oil on canvas
10 3/4 x 18 1/2 in. (27.3 x 47 cm.)
Painted in 1865.
Artist or Maker
Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, A Memorial Catalogue of the Paintings of Sanford Robinson Gifford, N.A., New York, 1881, no. 592.
I. Weiss, Poetic Landscape: The Art and Experience of Sanford R. Gifford, Newark, Delaware, 1987, p. 249, illustrated.
Gifford Estate Sale, Chickering Hall, New York, 11-12 April 1881, no. 122.
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Dr. Ila Weiss writes about this work, "the sketch was almost certainly painted in July 1865 when Gifford spent several weeks on Cape Ann with the artists Worthington Whittredge and James A. Suydam. Another painting by Gifford of the same size and title was dated July 25, 1865. In an account of Suydam, who was soon taken ill and died in September, Gifford described the scenery of the Manchester area as 'this beautiful shore...It is simple without being monotonous and varied without becoming rude or savage.' (as quoted in D. Huntington, "J.A. Suydam," manuscript, National Academy of Design Archives)
"The painting seems to celebrate the artist's delight in the scenery. Its foreground, with richly dark green shrubs and trees and warm grassy carpet strewn with small gray rocks, provides a comfortable, inviting vantage point for the infinite vista of sea and sky. The distance below and vast recession of the nearly uniform plane of rippling, glittering gray-blue water is deftly, even humorously established with great economy by figures and boats conjured by a few miniscule dabs of paint. The immediacy of the artist's presence is felt not only in the fresh outdoor color and light, but also in the breadth of handling, especially in textures of foliage and gestural impasto highlights on rocks."
A letter from Dr. Ila Weiss dated March 29, 2004 discussing the present work accompanies this lot.