EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (1857-1927)
EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (1857-1927)
EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (1857-1927)
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EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (1857-1927)
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Property from a Prominent Private Collection
EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (1857-1927)

Water Lilies

Details
EDWARD HENRY POTTHAST (1857-1927)
Water Lilies
signed 'E Potthast' and inscribed 'To the American [Red Cross] 1917' (lower left)
oil on canvas
24 x 30 in. (60.9 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted circa 1915-17.
Provenance
The artist.
American Red Cross, Washington, D.C., gift from the above, 1917.
The Manoogian Collection, Michigan.
Driscoll Babcock, New York.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 2014.
Exhibited
(Probably) San Francisco, California, Palace of Fine Arts, Post Exposition Exhibition, January 1-May 1, 1916, p. 42, no. 4516.
Further details
This work will be included in M. Ran’s forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work.

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Lot Essay

Starting around 1910, Edward Henry Potthast sought out the beaches of New York, most notably Coney Island and Rockaway Beach, to depict the rising tides of leisure culture. As industrialization drove the middle and upper classes to seek respite in nature, celebrating and depicting leisure became commonplace among Impressionist circles. Standing at the intersection of Impressionism and Realism, Potthast embraced the bustle of places such as Coney Island, Far Rockaway and Brighton Beach, the more populist haunts. Like the Realists, Potthast focused on energetic compositions rather than the kind of languid gentility often portrayed by the Impressionists; yet, like the Impressionists, he painted in a palette of high color and lightness. With artistic bravura and a painterly surface, Potthast renders Water Lilies with a masterly sense of composition as the figures' clothes flutter in the ocean breeze. As in the present work, according to Diane Smith-Hurd, Potthast’s painting is “at its best with subtleties of color in reflected light, as well as color in direct sun-shine.” (Edward Henry Potthast, 1857-1927: An American Painter, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1994, n.p.)

The present work was given by the artist to the American Red Cross in 1917 to raise funds for efforts in World War I.

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