PROPERTY FROM THE WALTER KNIGHT STURGES COLLECTION
SAKONNET POINT, RHODE ISLAND
15 by 22 1/2 in.
(38.1 by 57.1 cm)
signed W. Whittredge, l.l.; also titled Sakonnet Point on the reverse prior to lining
oil on canvas
Painted circa 1880.
Acquired by the present owner's father, 1959
From a young age Worthington Whittredge was inspired by the landscapes of the Hudson River School and after traveling and painting in Europe with fellow artists Albert Bierstadt and Sanford Gifford, he settled in New York and emerged as one of its most skilled practitioners. After briefly creating images of the American West, he returned to Hudson River subjects and was later elected President of the National Academy of Design from 1874 to 1875. In the late 1870s, however, Whittredge arrived at an artistic crossroads and turned toward the Rhode Island coast for inspiration. Anthony F. Janson writes: "Torn between his Hudson River outlook and the Barbizon aesthetic, he now found it difficult to reconcile the contradictions between the two seemingly incompatible schools. Realizing that he had to change his style without renouncing his artistic personality, Whittredge turned to Newport for his subject matter. The familiar coast of Rhode Island held deep personal associations unburdened by Hudson River rhetoric or Barbizon ethos, and it was there that he would achieve a new synthesis" (Worthington Whittredge, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1989, p. 163).
Similar views of Sakonnet Point by Whittredge can be found at the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.