Henry Ossawa Tanner
A View of Palestine, c. 1898/1899
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mrs. Walter Driscoll (Margaret L. Weyerhaeuser, class of 1923), Mrs. F. Rodman Titcomb (Elizabeth L. Weyerhaeuser, class of 1915) and Mrs. Robert J. Sivertsen (Sarah Weyerhaeuser, class of 1930)
Dimensions: Framed: 46 1/2 x 31 1/4 in. (118.11 x 79.38 cm)
Unframed: 22 1/2 x 37 in. (57.15 x 93.98 cm)
Published References v
Mundy, James, The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center: Vassar College The History and Collection (New York: Prestel Publishing, 2007), p. 97 repr.;
Anna O.Marley, Henry Ossawa Tanner Modern Spirit Exhibition Catalog, Pennsylvania Adacemy of the Fine Arts, repr. p. 209, fig. 43.
Wienand, "Es War Einmal in Amerika: 300 Jahre US-Amerikanische Kunst", Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Foundation (Köln (Cologne) 23 November 2018) repr. p. 375, fig. 50.
Exhibition History v
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, "Henry Ossawa Tanner, Modern Spirit," January 27 - April 15 2012;
Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Art Museum, "Henry Ossawa Tanner, Modern Spirit," May 26 - September 9, 2012;
Houston, Texas, The Museum of Fine Arts, "Henry Ossawa Tanner, Modern Spirit," October 14, 2012 - January 6, 2013.
Henry Tanner was born in Pittsburgh of mixed European, African, and Native American ancestry. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art with the renowned Realist Thomas Eakins. Finding no success in his attempts to practice art in his own country, he became an expatriate and was well received in Paris, where he made his home beginning in the early 1890s. He became known for his depictions of religious subjects and spent the remainder of his life as an expatriate, painting in a loose and evocative style largely influenced by contemporary French art. In 1898, he made a trip to the Holy Land in conjunction with a visit there by the German Emperor William II and Empress Augusta Victoria. While there he visited Palestine and painted the Vassar canvas. His impressions were summarized in a remin- iscence that Palestine was a place of “great barren hills that can blossom like a rose ... a natural setting of great tragedy.” Vassar’s painting, stemming from this period rich in personal exploration, is illustrative of his richest period, when he interpreted the world he saw in an immediate manner and style still fresh with first impressions.