American Masterpieces from Dryads Green Gallery
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Artist Name:         John Joseph Enneking
Artist Dates:        
1841 -1916
Painting Title:      
Gloucester, Nocturne
Painting Date:      
Oil on Artist Board
Signed Lower Right
Catalogue Raisonne
Size Unframed:    8 1/2  x 14 1/2
Size Framed:        
15 1/2 x 21 1/4
Artist Best Price:  
Offered At:           
Curator's Comments: Enneking was the first to achieve the rare fusion of Corot’s Barbizon school and Monet’s Impressionism, and to do so in a uniquely American manner that grows out of Tonalism but flowers with Impressionistic light that is all his own. It is no wonder to us that critics say his canvases look as if they were “painted with afterglow,” as here, where the moon is seen to rhapsodize with the yellow-tinted harbor lights in rippling reflection. Our image hardly does justice to one of Enneking's most beautiful compositions--a real stunner when one visually comprehends the brushwork. The harbor lights act to signal the eye to the thin band of moorings that in turn gives way to the night sky with magnificent cloud effects.

In 1972, the first biography of the artist was written and published by Patricia Jobe Pierce, who is the source of the artist's Catalogue Raisonne, which includes the above work. A Pierce Gallery label affixed to the verso indicate her registry of what is one of the rare “nocturnes” a la Whistler amongst Enneking’s oeuvre, and a small gem of a painting in every regard. After studying in France, Enneking returned to Boston in 1876, and quickly rose to the status of one of New England's most prominent landscape artists, and we think it fitting that Whistler is his inspiration in this work.

The Pierce biography, of which we own an inscribed copy, portrays Enneking as more worldly than was previously thought. He spent more time in Europe, and painted two more nocturnes set in Venice in the 1870s. Back in Boston, he thoroughly enjoyed and participated in his role as Parks Commissioner. But most important is the picture of Enneking painting away in the White Mountains. He would take his bicycle and make a three-week circuit stoppping at whatever inn he reached, and then hiking on to a new location for painting. A bear of a man himself, it is said that he encountered a bear in the mountains and kept right on painting until the creature went its way. When he lost his way in the mountain mist, he stopped and painted it, revealing a subtlety that governs much of his work that summons the eye with powerful chiaroscuro, and again the message is crisp and clear that the night can be  worshipped, even as the day, which is exactly what Enneking is saying.
Venetian Nocturne
Impressive Brushwork
Enneking by Caliga
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