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Charles Courtney Curran (1861-1942)

Charles Courtney Curran (1861-1942)

Tangled Vines

signed Charles C. Curran, N.A. and dated 1919, lower right--oil on canvas
24 1/4 x 36 1/8in. (61.4 x 91.8cm.)
Valentine-Dudensing Gallery, New York
Luther B. Weidlein, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Anna Pearl Weidlein, his wife, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
by descent in the family to the present owner

Lot Essay

Curran was invited to Cragsmoor, New York by the artist Frederick Dellenbaugh in 1903. By 1910 Curran had completed his home there, and developed an Impressionist style he employed in his subsequent paintings. According to Dr. William Gerdts, "about the time Curran went to Cragsmoor he turned to the theme that would involve him for the rest of his career: beautiful, "modern" young women in bright sunlight, often high on a hill or mountaintop, silhouetted against the brilliant blue sky. They are not unlike Frank Benson's contemporaneous canvases in spirit and aesthetic. Color is rich and Curran, like Benson, achieved a sense of vitality and immediacy" (American Impressionism, New York, 1984, p. 230.)

These elements are clearly seen in Tangled Vines, painted in Cragsmoor in June 1919. During this time, Curran's neighbor Lewenna Von Eltz was a frequent model, and is most likely depicted at the right side of the canvas. The small child is probably the artist's daughter Emily, who is often shown wearing a straw hat.
We are grateful to Kaycee Benton for her assistance.

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