Woman sewing oil on canvas 29 x 24in overall: 40 1/4 x 35 1/4in
PROVENANCE: With Charles A. Calder Gallery, Providence, Rhode Island Collection of Mrs. Josephine P. Everett, Pasadena, California With Pasadena Art Institute, 1938, by bequest of Mrs. Josephine P. Everett (note: the Museum was renamed Pasadena Art Museum in 1954) Collection of William Barclay, Beverly Hills, California (through a deaccession from the Museum), December 1964 Collection of Lois Bentley, Beverly Hills, California, until June 1997 Private collection, Rancho Santa Fe, California, June 1997 to present
According the Roy C. Rose, the grand nephew of the artist, this painting was probably executed in New England shortly after Guy and Ethel Rose returned to America in late 1912. This work resembles other paintings executed in the summers of 1913 and 1914 in Wickford, Rhode Island. In fact, the same wooden gazebo that surrounds the woman sewing is seen in Rose's painting Girl in a Wickford Garden.
Woman Sewing is a signature example of early American Impressionist painting. The influence of French Impressionism is clearly exemplified in the use of diffused light through the trees and the wispy, fresh quality of brushwork throughout the background. Rose has taken this Impressionistic style an extra step by juxtaposing a truly plein-air setting with a more carefully finished sitter. The viewer's eye is drawn to the fine detail of the woman's face, hands, dress and shoes, tantalized all the while by the play of light and color throughout the trees and inlet beyond.
The original purchaser of this painting is believed to be Mrs. Josephine P. Everett, an important early patron of American Impressionist painters. She believed in the importance of American artists and their place in the history of art. Most of her purchases were made directly from the artists and she prided herself on her extensive personal relationships with painters throughout the country. Her vast beneficence was later to become the foundation for the Pasadena Art Museum, The Cleveland Art Museum of Art, and to a lesser degree, the San Diego Museum. At her death, she bequeathed ten Guy Rose paintings to the Pasadena Art Museum, including Woman Sewing.
Woman Sewing was previously offered at Bonhams & Butterfields in 1997 and sold under the title Lady Sewing Amongst Trees. Following the comparison with the Wickford painting and the discovery of the gazebo, the title has been altered.
A letter written by Roy C. Rose, discussing this painting, accompanies the lot.