Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900)
Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900)
Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900)
1 More
Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900)
4 More
Property from the James William Glanville and Nancy Hart Glanville Collection
FREDERIC EDWIN CHURCH (1826-1900)

Winter Scene in Hartford

Details
FREDERIC EDWIN CHURCH (1826-1900)
Winter Scene in Hartford
signed 'F.E. Church' (lower right)
oil on canvas
10 1⁄4 x 15 1⁄4 in. (26 x 38.7 cm.)
Painted circa 1846-47.
Provenance
Private collection, New York.
Kennedy Galleries, Inc., New York.
Acquired by the late owners from the above, 1982.
Further details
We would like to thank Dr. Gerald Carr for his assistance with cataloging this lot, which will be included in his forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's oil paintings.
Sale room notice
Please note that this lot will be included in Dr. Gerald Carr's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's oil paintings.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

Lot Essay

We would like to thank Dr. Gerald Carr for his assistance in preparing the following essay.

This winter landscape, evidently a studio work, aligns with Frederic Edwin Church’s youth circa mid-1844 to mid-1846 at Catskill, New York, during his pupilage under the founder of the Hudson River School, Thomas Cole. During that period Church intermittently returned home to Hartford, Connecticut, his birthplace, and in mid-1846 at age twenty, he re-settled there for several months before moving to Manhattan. Painted circa 1846-47, the present work captures under the cover of snow the hometown for which Church felt affection throughout his entire life.

The present painting depicts a dammed-up rural stream, the water surface partly frozen, the barrier wreathed with ice, the atmospheric whole hovered by bright—presumably afternoon—sun. Church’s extant Hartford-area sketches from 1844 to 1846 include glimpses of the Connecticut River and local freshets, for example Scene near Hartford (September 1846, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, Olana State Historic Site, Taconic Region). The principal such rivulet, variously called the Mill River, Hog River, and Park River, was in 1832-33 spanned by single-arch bridge on Main Street a short distance from the city center. Church documented the waterway’s artifactually and arboreally crowded ambience via a detailed albeit unfinished drawing (The Stone Bridge, Hartford, circa July-September 1846, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, Olana State Historic Site, Taconic Region). An engineering marvel for its day, the Stone Bridge still stands, although the other features shown in Church’s drawing are long since removed.

A red-and-brown frocked child at lower left looks toward the waterway and paired russet buildings. The figure recalls that in Church’s Twilight Among the Mountains, circa 1845, at Olana since the 1880s. Identified by Dr. David C. Huntington as the work exhibited by Church at the National Academy of Design in 1845, that painting dates to when Church was eighteen years old and the Cole-esque Catskill composition shows the young artist’s own style in formation. The present, more broadly brushed scene likely dates slightly later circa 1846 to 1847. Hartford and Catskill, including Cole’s youthful son Theodore (Theddy), was what Church knew, artistically, when he was starting out. Hence that’s what he painted early on, as in the present work.

This winter scene from Church’s early career can also be seen to anticipate works, such as Winter Scene (1872, The Hekscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York), which Church painted at his newly or nearly inhabitable home of Olana, not yet named that, in the 1870s. Depicting another beloved landscape under winter’s snow, in those later works Church revived the mid-late 1840s boyhood-will-be-boyhood mood of the present work.

More from 19th Century American Art

View All
View All