WILLIAM ROBINSON LEIGH (1866-1955)
WILLIAM ROBINSON LEIGH (1866-1955)
WILLIAM ROBINSON LEIGH (1866-1955)
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WILLIAM ROBINSON LEIGH (1866-1955)

The Grand Canyon

Details
WILLIAM ROBINSON LEIGH (1866-1955)
The Grand Canyon
signed and dated ‘W.R. Leigh. 1910’ (lower left)
oil on canvas
21 ¼ x 33 in. (53.9 x 83.8 cm.)
Painted in 1910.
Provenance
Acquired by the present owner circa 1960.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

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Lot Essay

Working on a commission to paint the Grand Canyon for the Santa Fe Railroad, William Robinson Leigh made his first trip to the West in 1906 and spent the subsequent three summers working in New Mexico. With great interest and keen observation, Leigh gained an authoritative knowledge and understanding of the local cultures which became the prominent feature of his many genre pictures. The impetus for his original travels, the Grand Canyon subject holds a uniquely important place within Leigh’s landscape subjects.

In capturing the majestic beauty of the legendary Grand Canyon region, Leigh uniquely blends his experimentation with Impressionist technique and his skillful ability to record marquee elements of the American West. Although experimenting with a looser brush in the studio, the artist took painstaking efforts to record his surroundings with precision during his travels to the West. Nicknamed “America’s Sagebrush Rembrandt,” Leigh paints the present work with crisp desert tones complemented by brilliant violet shadows.

With his combination of transportive detail and artistic flourish, Leigh’s paintings depicting the Grand Canyon rank among some of his most compelling images in Western art history, building on the tradition of Thomas Moran, who first ventured to the area in 1873.

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