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Walter Farndon


Gallery Database:


Walter Farndon (1876-1964). "Autumn on the River," oil on artist board, 14 x 18, signed. Attached deaccession label from a  museum collection.


Curator's Comment:

We are pleased once again to be offering a dramatic and truly colorful work by Walter Farndon,  a painter of gem-like landscapes that are sought after by diligent collectors. Born in Coventry, England, Farndon came to the U.S., settling in Yonkers, NY, and began his career in the early 1890s, painting floral motifs in watercolor for a carpet factory. Determined to become a professional artist despite his family's financial struggles, he left the carpet factory after a few years to enroll at the National Academy of Design, where he first studied with Edgar M. Ward. He was later elected an Associate in 1928, and an Academician in 1937. He also studied with Robert Henri, and was a member of the Society of Independent Artists. He was a member of the American Watercolor Society, the National Arts Club,  and the Salmagundi Club, among others. Farndon won numerous prizes throughout New York and New England, and at the Pennsylvania Academy, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery and the Boston Art Club. Vose Galleries mounted five solo exhibitions of Farndon's oil and watercolor paintings. Farndon  painted en plein air and is best-known for the impasto at work in Impressionist, sometimes near-Expressionist, riverside, harbor and shore scenes. 


Earlier Similar Motif ca. 1920



Dockside brought $22,000 at Christies

Farndon put his artistic credo (as seen in notebooks we read at the Smithsonian) simply: "The principal payment for an artist is the personal satisfaction of creating beauty (as personally seen and felt), and giving to viewers some of the pleasure you have experienced in producing it." Farndon's works typically manage to retain the essential pleasure of creation--which is why we are very pleased to offer "Autumn on the River." The brilliant palette knife flowering trees are sending a climactic signal that natural time is near to entering the peace and rest of winter--in their last burst over the river. Everything else is waiting for the coming quiet--the empty boat and the empty cottage await the first snow. But the radiant trees also tell us that spring will return because "ripeness is all"--their beauty is ultimately as timeless as the natural cycle. "Autumn on the River" shows how much Farndon understood that art is there to manifest nature's simple magnificence.

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