Saturday, October 9, 2010

Object of the Day: An Early Nineteenth Century Scottish Landscape

If this painting isn’t Scottish in subject, it is certainly Scottish in origin. It was purchased along with a large lot of paintings and art objects from an estate in Edinburgh wherein it traveled to London, and then to Texas where I purchased it.

Unsigned, a slip of paper accompanying the painting (tucked behind the stretcher) listed it as “Large landscape with spacious sky, gifted 1825.” Judging by the canvas and the stretcher boards, I would say that the 1825 date is fairly accurate. The artist remains unknown.

Despite some minor craquelure which is typical in a painting of this age, the painting is in excellent condition and still retains a vibrancy of color which belies its age. The description of “spacious sky” is spot-on. What drew me to this painting in the first place was the dramatic sky reminiscent of the works of J.M.W. Turner.

It’s a moody painting, and I like that quality about it. Small figures of fishermen are dotted along the edge of the water. They’re unnaturally still as if anticipating an encroaching storm. The sense that this painting has captured a specific second of time makes it all the more appealing.

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