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Jane Peterson (1876-1965)
Jane Peterson (1876-1965)

Gloucester Harbor

Jane Peterson (1876-1965)
Gloucester Harbor
signed 'Jane Peterson' (lower left)
oil on canvas
24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm.)
Brodney Gallery of Fine Arts, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1968.

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Lot Essay

Among the finest examples of Jane Peterson's work, Gloucester Harbor depicts one of the artist's most celebrated subjects with her her signature brilliant palette and dynamic brushwork. Peterson employs grand brushstrokes to create a mosaic effect of highly expressive tones of blue, pink and yellow offset by pure strokes of white. Jonathan Joseph elaborates on the effect of this characteristic technique: "Her linear construction directed a viewer along a definite course and did not allow the viewer's attention to wander. Her tonal masses dominated lines and defined form, while subtle, thin oscillating lines emphasized form edges to better display the juxtapositioning of dark and light color areas. In some ways, Peterson's paintings resemble cloisonné, in that color is often surrounded by a thin outlining of charcoal or contrasting paint much like the thin wires of cloisonné surround enamel. However, lines do not encompass or totally contain color areas, but combine in a grand decorative order and show control in carefreeness. The work of Peterson becomes a sensuous place in the commonplace movements of nature." (Jane Peterson: An American Artist, Boston, Massachusetts, 1981, p. 17)

Gloucester Harbor demonstrates Peterson at the height of her abilities. The innovative stylistic elements are the fundamental characteristics of her style that garnered her critical acclaim. Particularly impressed by her innovative approach to painting, one reviewer remarked in 1917 that "Miss Jane Peterson uses strong colors and broad brush to give the facts about docks and fishing craft and harbours in a somewhat knock-you-down fashion." (as quoted in Jane Peterson: An American Artist, p. 32)

We are grateful to Jonathan Joseph for confirming the authenticity of this lot.

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