Summer Landscape, 1914 signed and dated 'Fortune - 1914' (lower right) oil on canvas 22 1/4 x 26in
EXHIBITED: Oakland, California, The Oakland Museum, Impressionism, The California View 1890-1930, September 1981-May 1982.
Monterey, California, Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, Colors and Impressions: The Early Work of E. Charlton Fortune, traveling exhibition, September 1989-October 1990, illus.
Carmel, California, Carmel Art Association, E. Charlton Fortune 1885-1969, August-September 2001, p.45, no.14, illus.
LITERATURE: Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, Colors and Impressions: The Early Work of E. Charlton Fortune, Monterey, California, 1990, p.16, fig.12, illus.
Carmel Art Association, E. Charlton Fortune 1885-1969, 2001, p.45, no.14, illus.
E. Carlton Fortune was a student of Arthur Mathews at the Mark Hopkins Institute. Mathews' lessons emphasized the use of a limited palate to create a unified painting. Mathews also stressed that nature was the most important source of artistic inspiration.
After the San Francisco earthquake and ensuing fire of 1906, Fortune moved to New York and enrolled in the Arts Students League, where she was taught by Frank Vincent DuMond and William Merritt Chase. Both of these artists encouraged her to paint outdoors with a particular attention to light and atmosphere. In Chase's own work at that time, the importance of light and atmosphere often took precedence over the subject of the painting.
Fortune won a silver medal at the Panama-California Exposition of San Diego for this lot, Summer Landscape, in 1915. In this painting we can clearly see the influence of Mathews, DuMond, and Chase. The focus of the composition is on the effect of light and shadow in this outdoor scene. The canvas is unified by a narrow range of green and white tones. The strong diagonals and the tonal progression lead the viewer's eye in a circular path through the painting, to the spotlight cast by the summer sun on the woman on the bridge.
Property of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, sold to benefit future museum acquisitions.