Thomas Hill (1829-1908) Hudson River Valley from the Catskill Mountain House 36 1/4 x 60in (Painted in 1872.)

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Lot 30W
Thomas Hill
(1829-1908)
Hudson River Valley from the Catskill Mountain House 36 1/4 x 60in

Sold for US$ 372,500 inc. premium

American Art

19 Nov 2018, 16:00 EST

New York

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF JOHN H. GARZOLI
Thomas Hill (1829-1908)
Hudson River Valley from the Catskill Mountain House
signed and dated 'T. Hill 1872.' (lower left)
oil on canvas
36 1/4 x 60in
Painted in 1872.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Szymanski Gallery, Beverly Hills, California, 1977.
    Acquired by the late owner from the above, by 1980.

    Exhibited
    Oakland, California, The Oakland Museum, and elsewhere, Thomas Hill: The Grand View, September 23, 1980-October 1981, no. 21, p. 53, fig. 31, illustrated (as Untitled).

    Literature
    M. Tsaneva, Thomas Hill: 92 Masterpieces, Morrisville, North Carolina, 2014, n.p., illustrated.


    Thomas Hill's career as a painter focused on the American landscape and in capturing the unique characteristics of each location he depicted. Hill achieved great success with high demand for his paintings during his lifetime. While he was widely known for his paintings of the Yosemite Valley and American West, he also was inspired by treks through the White Mountains in New Hampshire as well as the Hudson River Valley in New York. A rare group of the artist's work, including Hudson River Valley from the Catskill Mountain House, depicts the Catskill Mountain range in upstate New York.

    The Catskill Mountain House, built in 1823, was well-known as a luxurious scenic retreat and a quintessential location for landscape artists of the 19th century. Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806-1867), the poet laureate of the Hudson valley, exclaimed that its location was "too near heaven." Three U.S. presidents visited the hotel, including Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886) and Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919). The Mountain House and its sweeping views were depicted by many artists of the Hudson River School, including most notably Thomas Cole (1801-1848), Sanford Gifford (1823-1880), and Jasper Cropsey (1832-1900). In the present work, Hill captures the majestic scene in vibrant autumnal colors and on a grand scale fitting for the expansive view. The inclusion of the diminutive figures on the cliff further amplifies the scale of the mountains and trees as well as the far-ranging distance viewed in the panorama.

    Over time the Mountain House ultimately fell into disrepair and tragically was burned by the state of New York in 1963 as it had fallen into ruin. Works such as Hill's Hudson River Valley from the Catskill Mountain House remain as a visual testament to when the Mountain House was at its peak as a grand, cultural and historic site that gained its fame primarily because of its epic, natural vantage points.
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