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Jasper Francis Cropsey
American, 1823-1900

Artist Sketching on Greenwood Lake, 1869
Oil on canvas
Gift of Georgia Potter Gosnell, class of 1951, and Elizabeth Gosnell Miller,class of 1984
Period: 19th c
Classification: Painting
Dimensions: Framed: 32 1/2 x 45 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. (82.55 x 116.21 x 14.61 cm) Sight: 19 3/8 x 32 1/2 in. (49.21 x 82.55 cm)
Provenance v
M. Knoedler & Company, new York, with Pinakos, New York, 1943, as "Artist Sketching at a River"; Maxim karolik, 1943, returned to M. Knoedler & Company, New York, with Pinakos, New York, 1944; Marx Q. Cristman, Herkimer, NY, 1944; Sotheby's, New York, November 30, 2005, lot 152, as "Artist Sketching on Greenwood Lake"; Georgia Potter Gosnell and Elizabeth Gosnell Miller, 2005; Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, 2005. (Maddox and Speiser, "Jasper Francis Cropsey: Catalgoue Raisonne", Newington-Cropsey Foundation, 2016, pg. 86).
Published References v
Maddox, Kenneth W. and Speiser, Anthony M. "Jasper Francis Cropsey: Catalogue Raisonne, Works in Oil, Volume II: 1864-1884", Newington-Cropsey Foundation, 2016, pg. 86.
Exhibition History v
M. Knoedler & Company, New York, May 17-June 11, 1943, "Exhibition of American Landscape Painting Dating from 1750, no. 19, as "Artist Sketching at a River" and dated 1858; Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany, NY, November-December 1943, "Life on the Hudson"; Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute, Utica, NY, 2005, as "Greenwood Lake".
Description v
At 20 by 33 inches, this substantial painting, added to the collection in 2005, is larger than most of the American paintings in the original Magoon collec- tion. Conveying the peace and tranquility of postbellum America removed from the intrusions of industry, it portrays a calm day on Greenwood Lake, a finger lake nine miles in length that straddles the New Jersey-New York border, not far from Cropsey’s home in Warwick, New York, and a place that served the artist as a subject from 1843, when he was twenty years old. The tranquil water on which a single small sailboat glides, reflects the remain- ing greens, russets, and reds of the trees on the small island to the left, and even the pink and white clouds in the sky. In the foreground, the artist sits balanced on a log over the water’s edge sketching while his dog wades in the shallow water. The entire composition is based on a gentle left-to-right move- ment that begins with the leaning repoussoir trees on the left, continues through the log on which the artist sits and its branches, which direct the eye into the open water and the boat, and ends with the gently rising hills on the opposite shore. Assured in composition and execution, the painting shows the artist at the height of his mature powers.
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