American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Artist Name:       Hugh Bolton Jones
Artist Dates:       1848 - 1927
Painting Title:    
A Clear Stream 
Painting Date:     1898 ca.
Oil on Canvas
Signed Lower Left
Private Collection
Size Unframed:   
16 x 26
Frame Condition: Quality Antique
Artist Best Price:  $90,000
Offered At:          
Curator's Comments: Born in 1848 in Baltimore, Jones began his formal studies at the Maryland Institute under the portrait painter David Acheson Woodward and later with Horace W. Robbins, who had just returned from a year of travel with Frederic Edwin Church. So it should be no surprise that Jones came to study with Church, who is the chief influence on his work. You can see it in the light, which picks up Church’s magnificent tonality. In 1876, Jones and his younger brother Francis Coates Jones began a four-year sojourn in Europe, where Jones completed some study at the Academy Julien, as the many Americans who later followed him. He joined the artist colony on the North coast of France in Pont-Aven, Brittany, which would later become an American center under the Harrisons.  Other post-Civil War painters frequented this area as well, including genre painter Thomas Hovenden, who Jones had met earlier in Baltimore and Philadelphia, where Hovenden worked at PAFA.

Upon his return to the United States, Jones settled in New York but purchased a summer cottage in South Egremont, Massachusetts, where he painted the Berkshires, and traveled to landscapes in Maryland and as far as West Virginia. Hudson River School influence, from Church, is seen in the rendering of brilliant midday light and formalist attention to exact natural details of the plein aire scene.  Despite the Barbizon-like rendering of light and shadow, executed with an energetic brushstroke, Jones’s artist intent was set on capturing the spectacle of a pictorial landscape as it varied across the seasonal spectrum of illumination. His scenery conveys its value through features brought into focus with exquisite detail and radiant tonality, here seen in the suffused pink that raises earthen browns and sharpens verdant greens as in his wonderful skunk cabbage. We show a selection of Jones’s works whose seasonality provides a continuing harmony across the subject of his favorite stream close to Sheffield, Massachusetts, only a few miles from his cottage in Western Massachusetts in the foothills of Mount Washington. We see Jones as a precursor for Edwin Parker Hayden, who painted the same ground, and who stands in relation to World War I, in almost the same way that Jones comes after the Civil War—with a photographic rendition of nature’s inner peace—something badly needed by a nation where almost every family had suffered loss.

Jones’ works were widely exhibited in the United States at the turn of the century, and their powerful gemlike focus on nature in the perfected moment continues to bring high prices today. He was elected to the Society of American Artists in 1881 and to the National Academy of Design (where he had exhibited in the 1860s and continued to do so for a record sixty years) in 1883.  He was also a member of the American Water Color Society, the National Inst of Arts & Letters and the National Arts Club.  He won medals for the paintings he submitted to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893; at the 1889 and 1900 Paris Expositions; at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition and at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.  His paintings are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Smithsonian. The artist died in 1927 in New York City. This painting will be included in the forthcoming
catalogue raisonne under the direction of Dr. Eleanor Ashton.
"The Meadow Brook"  brought $57,600 in 2005
Fishing the Stream brought  $36,000 in 2005
At summer's height
"The first frost" brought $30,800 in 1998
"Before the snow" brought $23,000 in 2000
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