Dawson Dawson-Watson (1864-1939) Harvest Time 34 x 50 1/4in (Painted circa 1891.)

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Lot 35W
Dawson Dawson-Watson
(1864-1939)
Harvest Time 34 x 50 1/4in

Sold for US$ 125,000 inc. premium

American Art

19 Nov 2018, 16:00 EST

New York

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, CHICAGO
Dawson Dawson-Watson (1864-1939)
Harvest Time
signed 'Dawson-Watson.' (lower left)
oil on canvas
34 x 50 1/4in
Painted circa 1891.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The Pfeil Collection.
    R.H. Love Galleries, Chicago, Illinois.
    Acquired by the present owner from the above, 2007.

    Exhibited
    Columbus, Ohio, Columbus Museum of Art, and elsewhere, Masterworks of American Impressionism from the Pfeil Collection, February 1992-June 1994, pp. 14, 103-05, no. 25, illustrated.

    Please note the present work is included in the Dawson Dawson-Watson online catalogue raisonné as number P.1891.2.

    Dawson Dawson-Watson, the English-American Impressionist, once declared, "Every painter is an impressionist, inasmuch as he gives his impression of the thing he sees." (1907, as quoted in William H. Gerdts, Masterworks of American Impressionism from the Pfeil Collection, Alexandria, Virginia, 1992, p. 105) Dawson-Watson was born in London, where his father, John Dawson-Watson (1832-1892), was also an artist and a popular illustrator. He studied art from an early age in London, first under the American artist Mark Fisher (1840-1923), and later, was fortunate to receive sponsorship to study in Paris under Carolus Duran (1837-1917), who was also the teacher of John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). However, it was in Giverny, home of Impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926), where Dawson-Watson would come to find a tremendous source of inspiration for his work.

    Dawson-Watson joined the colony of expatriate artists that migrated to Giverny in 1888, after an invitation from the American painter John Leslie Breck (1860-1899). It was not only Monet who was a draw to Giverny for the young artists—Dawson-Watson once said it took six months for him to learn Monet lived there—but rather the natural beauty of its rural landscapes and picturesque villages. While Dawson-Watson likely intended to make a brief visit, he remained in Giverny for a period of five years, during which time he produced an array of significant landscape and figural works. Art historian William H. Gerdts notes, "He produced landscapes and village views in and around Giverny, but his most monumental canvases are figural scenes, in which he explored the traditional peasant subject, concentrating upon women workers. The artist subjected his interpretations to the strategies of Impressionism—the vigorous brushwork, the rushing perspective, and the intense coloration—often favoring the purples and violets that for many critics constituted the keynote identification of the movement. Harvest Time would seem to be Dawson-Watson's masterwork from his Giverny period." (ibid, p. 14)

    Harvest Time, is a superb representation of Dawson-Watson's skill as an Impressionist painter. The expansive, lively brushwork as well as a color palette dominated by yellows and complimentary violets references key characteristics of the Impressionist movement. In France, Dawson-Watson studied and learned from many European artists including Louis-Joseph Raphael Collin (1850-1916) and Pierre Paul Leon Glaize (1842-1932). The composition of women working in a field, is very reminiscent of Jean Francois Millet's (1814-1875) The Gleaners (1857, Louvre, Paris, France). A key difference in Dawson-Watson's gleaners compared to Millet's can be seen in the bright and strongly sunlit quality of the present work, contrasted with the darker and bleaker atmosphere depicted by Millet.

    It was in 1893 that Dawson-Watson moved to America at the urging of his friend and fellow artist, J. Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917), to take a post as the director of the Hartford Art Society in Hartford, Connecticut. Sojourns in Canada and the artist colony in Woodstock, New York followed, until in 1904, he settled in St. Louis, Missouri for an eleven-year post teaching at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts at Washington University, where he spent his summers in the Ozarks. In 1927, Dawson-Watson moved to San Antonio and spent the remainder of his life in Texas, which inspired the Southwestern landscapes predominantly featured in his later works.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the present work is included in the Dawson Dawson-Watson catalogue raisonné as number P.1891.2.
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