SANFORD ROBINSON GIFFORD (1823-1880)
SANFORD ROBINSON GIFFORD (1823-1880)
SANFORD ROBINSON GIFFORD (1823-1880)
SANFORD ROBINSON GIFFORD (1823-1880)
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SANFORD ROBINSON GIFFORD (1823-1880)

Sketch for 'A Catskill Study'

Details
SANFORD ROBINSON GIFFORD (1823-1880)
Sketch for 'A Catskill Study'
signed with initials and dated 'SRG/60' (lower left)
oil on canvasboard
3 3/4 x 7 in. (9.5 x 17.8 cm.)
Painted in 1860.
Provenance
Private collection, Virginia.
Estate of the above.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
Further details
A letter from the recognized expert on the artist, Dr. Ila Weiss, accompanies this lot.

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Lot Essay

The present work is a finished sketch for Gifford's A Catskill Study of 1861. According to Gifford scholar Ila Weiss, "The view in the two paintings is suggestive of the Catskills panorama in the vicinity of Palenville near the mouth of Kauterskill Clove, perhaps from an imagined height, with High Peak and South Mountain flanking Kaatskill Creek as it emerges from the Clove to zigzag and cascade across the plain between the mountains and the Hudson River." She writes that the present sketch "is remarkable not only for the panoramic breath and aerial depth captured in such a small format, but especially for the extraordinary, stunning effect of the sun, established with warm white impasto encircled by transparent color glazes: deeper warm white then pale salmon layered over the sky and adjacent mountains..."

The small scale of the present work reveals much about the artist's process of working while travelling. Weiss writes, "The small board of the sketch was probably slightly irregularly cut to fit in a portable paint box, where several such boards would have been supported by slots. Very narrow margins at the top and both sides of the painting, about 1-2 cms, were painted to the edge but not varnished, suggesting it was finished in a frame. The bottom margin is unpainted where it must have fit into a slot for support as an impromptu easel. Gifford traveled abroad with such a paint box..." (unpublished letter, November 22, 2022).

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