Charles Caryl Coleman (1840-1928)
Charles Caryl Coleman (1840-1928)


Charles Caryl Coleman (1840-1928)
signed with initials in monogram and dated 'CCColeman·/Roma-1877' (lower left)--signed again with initials in monogram 'CCC', dated again in monogram and inscribed with title and 'Roma' (on the original frame)
oil on canvas
26 x 77 in. (66 x 195.6 cm.)
Painted in 1877.
Thomas H. Anderson, South Pasadena, California.
Estate of the above.
John Burroughs, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Private collection, Palm Springs, California, acquired from the above, 1978.
Christies, Los Angeles, California, 18 June 2003, lot 28, sold by the above.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
A.H. Brewster, "American Art at Paris," The World, New York, April 12, 1878, p. 5.
A.B. Bell, "The Still Life Paintings of Charles Caryl Coleman," A Seamless Web: Transatlantic Art in the Nineteenth Century, Cambridge, England, 2014, pp. 153, 155.

Lot Essay

This work will be included in Adrienne Baxter Bell's forthcoming catalogue of the works of Charles Caryl Coleman.

An American expatriate, Charles Caryl Coleman was born in Buffalo, New York, and pursued his academic training in Paris before the outbreak of the Civil War. He returned to the United States in 1862 to serve in the Union army, and then traveled back to Europe in 1866, where he lived out the remainder of his life in Capri. During his career, he focused primarily on portraiture, landscapes and genre scenes in the Italian countryside. However, he created a series of decorative panels that are his most highly admired and dramatic work. The beautiful panel Primavera is half of a pair of panels likely commissioned by one of Coleman's clients in London for the boudoir of her home. The intricately designed frame features the initials 'ACD' and 'WSD,' most probably those of the patrons. The second half of the pair, titled Still Life with Peach Blossoms (Private Collection), was featured in the exhibitions In Pursuit of Beauty: Americans and the Aesthetic Movement at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

An article in The [New York] World, dated April 12, 1878, describes Primavera as "horizontal in form, represent[ing] a bit of moonlight sky with a crescent moon, some branches of an almond tree in blossom, and a wise little owl perched upon one of the tree stems. It was an enchanting poetical conceit on canvas." The painting displays the aesthetic design of Eastern traditions, which Coleman featured often in his decorative panels. The original frame was also masterfully designed and crafted by Coleman, juxtaposing its ornate Italian Renaissance elements with the painting's simplicity of design.

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