According to Dr. Ila Weiss, "In late September to early October of 1849, Sanford Gifford, along with the artist Edward H. May, explored scenery along the East and West Branches of the Delaware River, west of the Catskills, producing pencil drawings in a sketchbook at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College. These were mined for several recorded paintings, including the present work. The preliminary drawing is inscribed, 'West Branch of the Delaware, Sept. 28th, 1849.' The drawing establishes the spatial disposition and reflective effects of water meandering through the fore- and middle-ground with striking verisimilitude retained in the painting. The grove or orchard of low, bulbous, sunlight-sculpted trees doubled in reflection in the middle distance is also recorded in the drawing and clarified in the painting as planted rows, enlivened with glittering speckled lights (perhaps reflected from fruit), as a local feature of the agrarian scene. Warmly spot-lighted areas bring attention to the orchard and to the small figure of a fisherman, jauntily outfitted with rod, boots, and shoulder-strapped pouch. Such figures inhabit many of Gifford’s early images of streams and surely reflect his own lifelong love of the sport." (unpublished letter dated 20 June 2015)
A letter from the recognized expert, Dr. Ila Weiss, accompanies this lot. We wish to thank her for her assistance with cataloguing.