American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
(Please Scroll Down--Catalogue is Alphabetical by Artist Last Name)
Artist Name:        Ernest Lawson      
Artist Dates:       
1873 - 1939      
Painting Title:     
Reflections of Spring Painting Date:      Undated, ca. 1911     Medium:             Oil on Canvas
Private Collection    
Very Good
Size Unframed:   
24 x 30   
Frame Condition: 
Mint Reproduction 
Artist Best Price:  
Offered At:         
Curator's Comments: We our pleased to have a Lawson back to offer, having sold  a view in the Colorado series focused on the Silver Dollar Mine at Cripple Creek, which we well remember and miss. Our new offering is early,  a view of the upper Bronx River, and impressive for its joyous tones that blend sky, riverbank, the stream and the meadow. Below we show two similar experiments with river reflections that continue Lawson"s study of this theme.  Lawson was born in Halifax, studied in France, but came under the influence of Twachtman at the Art Students League in New York in 1890. From 1893 to 1898, he studied in Paris at the Academy Julian with Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant.  In Paris, he shared a studio with Somerset Maugham, who used him as the prototype for Frederic Lawson in his novel, Of Human Bondage.  Later the Weir brothers were another influence. By 1898, he had moved to the city’s Washington Heights section, where countryside and river views still dominated. Later, Lawson left New York, painting and traveling widely, until he settled in Florida at the close of his career. He participated in both the landmark exhibition of The Eight in 1908 and the Armory Show of 1913—but his work is unallied with either Ashcan Realism or the Surrealism to come. Impression remained his metier, and his support of The Eight is owing to a close friendship with Glackens.
Ernest Lawson, ca. 1920
We think of Lawson, along with Redfield and Schofield, as one of the three preeminent U.S. landscape artists of the first half of the 20th century. These painters achieved a breakthrough, going far beyond naturalism, tonalism, and even impressionism to create the unique mode of expression that we call art. Lawson’s impasto technique is thickly layered onto the  canvas, in what is clearly a very fine representation of what critic J.G. Huneker called coloration "made from crushed jewels." What is genuinely magical about the painting we offer is that it gleams a total pink-yellow-cobalt and bright verdant green when illuminated by horizontal beams of daylight. This work is one of the finest examples of Lawson's brushwork and impasto that we have ever seen--particularly so in the forefront riverbank. Throughout the texture is magnificent. The light blue cobalt of the sky reflects into the deeper cobalt of the river that throws reflection onto the stony bank in a cobalt blue of medium hue that brightens the green shades that reflect back up to the glowing sky. The effect is a truly wondrous experience for the eye of the viewer.  The signature is in the painting and does not fluoresce under UV--it is rendered in the medium cobalt hue and readily seen in natural light when the painting is laid flat. But when the painting is hung it blends into the riverbank where Lawson put his mark between two areas of the same color, partially disguising it, and we think working it into the painting's theme--since this masterpiece is  his reflection ultimately. Of course the impasto technique has led to condition problems with many Lawsons--and we have been searching for a work in the best condition possible. So we are pleased to quote a condition report on the current work preparered by the noted restorer Simon Parks: "This painting is in perfect condition. The canvas has never been removed from its original stretcher. The paint layer is clean and is not only stable, but has not been retouched and unusually for a work by Lawson, has no disturbing cracking or distortion. The picture should be hung as is." Crackelure is minimal.
The Bronx River flows south from upper Westchester, past White Plains, then south-southwest through the northern suburbs, passing Edgemont, Tuckahoe, Eastchester, and Bronxville,  emptying into the East River. Lawson favored this area, perfectly pastoral during his residence,  and further south he painted the Harlem River that divides Manhattan and the Bronx.
River Landscape brought $60,000 in 2006
Red Rooftops also focuses on river reflection
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