Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966)
Property from the collection of Peter Whitney Smith and Alma Gilbert-Smith
Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966)

Du Pont Mural

Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966)
Du Pont Mural
signed indistinctly 'Maxfield Parrish' (lower right)
oil on canvas
84 x 48 in. (213.4 x 121.9 cm.), each panel; 84 x 144 in. (213.4 x 365.8 cm.), overall
Executed in 1933.
Irenée du Pont, Wilmington, Delaware.
The artist, 1953.
Estate of the above.
Mrs. Alma Gilbert, Vermont, 1978.
Precision Museum, Windsor, Vermont, gift from the above, 1985.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 2001.
C. Ludwig, Maxfield Parrish, New York, 1973, p. 217, no. 749.
A. Gilbert, Maxfield Parrish: The Masterworks, Berkeley, California, 1992, pp. 124-26, illustrated.
A. Gilbert-Smith, Maxfield Parrish: Master of Make-Believe, exhibition catalogue, London, 2005, pp. 58-60, 118-29, illustrated.
A. Gilbert-Smith, The Cornish Art Colony: Giants of America's Gilded Age, exhibition catalogue, Aurora, Missouri, 2010, n.p.
Palm Beach, Florida, Society of the Four Arts, and elsewhere, Maxfield Parrish: Master of Make-Believe, January 21-February 20, 2005, no. 12.
Windsor, Vermont, Cornish Colony Museum, May 2006-October 2009, on loan.
Plainfield, New Hampshire, Parrish House Museum, The Cornish Art Colony: Giants of America's Gilded Age, May 28-October 30, 2010.
Sale room notice
Please note this lot is signed indistinctly Maxfield Parrish at lower right.

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Lot Essay

In 1932, Maxfield Parrish accepted a commission from his childhood friend, Irénée Du Pont, to paint a spectacular mountain and landscape mural to be placed in the organ well of his home in Granogue, Delaware. In preparation for this undertaking, the artist executed a smaller oil study (Study for the Du Pont Mural, oil on board, 23 x 32 in., private collection), which he sent to his friend on approval. Du Pont endorsed the commission immediately, and was so pleased with the concept that he offered to purchase the study outright as well. Parrish declined, choosing to keep the study for himself, to be hung over his fireplace. The completed mural consisting of three panels measuring 7 x 4 feet each was installed in Du Pont's music well in 1933.

In May 2001 Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner, Professor and Paintings Conservator at Winterthur/University of Delaware Art Program in Art Conservation, began the renewal of Du Pont Mural in partnership with Save America's Treasures. Dr. Stoner commented on the undertaking, "This ambitious project, the restoration and preservation of Maxfield Parrish's 1933 Du Pont Mural, is the American equivalent of the restoration of Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper...." The conservation of the murals took approximately four years to complete. According to Dr. Stoner, the project required a total of 3,870 hours and involved the efforts of 54 University of Delaware conservation students. The completion date of January 2005 allowed the mural to join the prestigious exhibition, Maxfield Parrish: Master of Make Believe, which toured the country from January 2005 to May 2006.

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