American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Curator's Comments: We have acquired two of what we think are the best-ever of Gruppe's
famous birch tree studies. The first set along the stream near Jeffersonville, Vermont, where the
artist did his winter work and the second--an even larger study--done on the slopes of Mt. Mansfield
that may be his single most important work. The first shows the artist in a romantic mood--the
second is realistic to the point of a rare use of imposto on the slate of the mountainside that makes it
come alive. (Our image does not nearly begin to show the brushwork here.) Gruppe has written "Chin
slope" on the stretcher to tell us he is working on the trail to the highest peak of Mounmt Mansfield
and nearing the tree line. His birches are windswept and about to sail off like birds in flight--but the
slates and their imposto texture have locked them in place like flags signaling that snow is on the
way. We have yet to see any Gruppe work that matches this for the intensity of its composition.
Gruppe was one of America's most prolific painters. He himself records that he destroyed some 2,000
paintings and sketches. But his works are estimated at over 8,000, and that includes sketches
cannibalized from larger canvases, demonstration work for his extensive teaching (in the main at his
own Gloucester summer school), and partial works supporting his three books. Moreover, Gruppeâ
€™s locations were highly limited. He painted in Gloucester, in Jeffersonville in Vermont and less so
in Naples, Florida. Gloucester was the hub, and he even did the murals of the Gloucester National
Bank. Another factor complicating his output is his tendency to virtually repeat his work from the
same perspective, such as the wharf in Gloucester he favored or Gloucester’s so-called Italian
docks—keep in mind that he painted in Gloucester for 53 years. We have seen many done from the
exact same perspective. As Dave Nyhan writes: "The same locations appear many times, even very
similar versions of the same scene." The critical point is that when Emile was  bad he was sketchy--
but when he was good--he was excellence itself--as in the works we offer.      
"If you want exacting details in a painting, than you might as well look at a photograph. I make an
impression on a canvas and let one's imagination fill in the details. After all, I am creating a dream!"
       --Emile A Gruppe'
Next Catalogue Page
Artist Name:         Emile A. Gruppe'     
Artist Dates:         
1896 - 1978       
Painting Title:  
Birches Along the Stream
Painting Date:       Undated   
Oil on Canvas             
Private Collection      
Size Unframed:     30  x 25        
Frame Condition:   
New Reproduction
Artist Best Price:   $59,400
Offered At:           CALL       
His commercial agenda probably kept him out of the National Academy, eventhough he won
competitions there and has works hanging in the Art Institute of Chicago and the White House. As  
Nyhan notes: "He gave demonstrations and charged for admittance. He was a showman from the
first, and sold not only the painting he was working on but brushes and other equipment as well.
Once he even sold his hat." This according to observers was the kiss of death to his desires to be
admitted into the National Academy. While other artists were very discrete in advertising, Emile, at a
demonstration, would put his asking price on the back of the canvas. He is said to have sold some
canvases, even before he dabbed any paint on the front. During the Great Depression, when the
demand for original art virtually evaporated, he turned to smaller pictures and reduced prices to get
sales. He made no bones about it--he wanted to sell you a picture! A Massachusetts physician with a
summer home on Cape Ann, told us that Gruppe would sell from a stack of small canvases, while
painting a larger identical work as he sat perched above the piers, attracting passerby customers.
Artist Name:        Emile A. Gruppe'    
Artist Dates:        
1896 - 1978       
Mountain Birches--Mt. Mansfield
Painting Date:      Undated   
Oil on Canvas          
Private Collection     
Size Unframed:     30  x 36        
Frame Condition:   
Mint Gallery Style
Artist Best Price:   $59,400
Offered At:          CALL      
Two Magnificent Newly Offered  Birch Tree Studies by Gruppe
Mount Mansfield, Vermont
Our offerings of Gruppe's wonderful Gloucester maritime views follows on the next page.