At the Woodshed Gallery, we never know what masterpiece will arrive next. Our auction consignments are a source of constant fascination. So are the paintings which come to us for cleaning, restoration and conservation. A few months ago a friend arrived with a painting discovered in storage at the estate sale of a Marlboro, Mass art collector. He recognized the signature, and leaped on the chance to own it.
The old canvas had lost its frame somewhere over the past century, and it had a few signs of neglect, but when we put it in a good light, the image radiated with the strength of a master composition. We inspected the stretcher and saw 19th century construction and iron tacks applied in the evenly spaced technique of the Royal Academy of London. And when we examined the signature, we found that it was original to the canvas: JF CROPSEY 1878! A bit of research led to identifying the image as a late Autumn sunrise at Lake Champlain, New York.
The newly discovered painting was brought to Star Antiques Appraiser Dr. Lori Verderame from the History and Discovery channels (The Curse of Oak Island, Auction Kings). She carefully examined the painting in person prior to our restoration work, and then again after, through her online evaluation and appraisal service, authenticated it.
Jasper Francis Cropsey (February 18, 1823 – June 22, 1900) was a leader amongst the Hudson River School Painters of the mid/late 1800’s, and is known as a master of Luminist painting, which flourished for about two decades from the early 1850’s. In the 1870’s, artistic tastes changed, influenced by the both of the dominant French schools: The Barbizons (Tonalists) and the nascent Impressionists. Cropsey adapted his style by smoothing out details, increasing contrasts, simplifying the brightest focal points of his landscapes, and employing Impressionistic brushwork to create atmospheric effects. His skill was, to put it mildly, awesome.
This impressively scaled painting will be offered for sale in our auction on November 27th. It will be a rare opportunity to purchase a fine work of art by an American Master Painter synonymous with The Hudson River School Movement and Luminism and featured in the best museums and fine art collections throughout the world.