American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Two Magnificent Newly Offered  Birch Tree Studies by Gruppe
Artist Name:         Emile A. Gruppe'     
Artist Dates:        
1896 - 1978       
Painting Title: 
Birches Along the Stream
Painting Date:       Undated   
Medium:             
Oil on Canvas             Signature:             Signed         
Provenance:        
Private Collection      
Condition:           
Excellent
Size Unframed:    
30  x 25        
Frame Condition:  
New Reproduction
Artist Best Price:  
$59,400
Offered At:           CALL       
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, Gruppe’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.      

Artist Name:         Emile A. Gruppe'    Artist Dates:         1896 - 1978       
Title:
Mountain Birches--Mt. Mansfield
Painting Date:       Undated   
Medium:             
Oil on Canvas          Signature:             Signed         
Provenance:        
Private Collection     Condition:            Excellent
Size Unframed:    
30  x 36        
Frame Condition:  
Mint Gallery Style
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.
Mount Mansfield, Vermont
“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'
Our offerings of Gruppe's wonderful Gloucester maritime views follows on the next page.
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