GEORGE INNESS OIL ON PANEL (American, 1825-1894) Titled "The Orchard," an olive-green meadow with apple trees and russet spots of weeds. In the middle ground is a small pond and in the far distance on the left stands a roof top among trees. The sky is a mixture of clouds with just a touch of highlights from the sun and pale blue sky with tall trees on the right. Image measures 20" x 30". Signed "G. Inness" lower right and dated 1885. Paper label from the William MacBeth Gallery 237 Fifth Avenue, New York, attached verso with title inscribed on label. The William MacBeth Gallery was located at this address from 1892-1906. Also a label from the Garfield Safe Deposit Co., New York is attached verso. The mahogany panel has a manufacturer's label attached verso that states "French's Artist Board, Patented June 29th, 1880. This Board is `built-up' of three layers of Veneers..." and "Manufactured only by E. F. French, New York." George Inness was known to paint on these boards, such as his painting titled "Albano, Italy" located at Princeton University. Set in a gilt wood frame. "The Orchard" exhibits a Tonalist style with a Barbizon influence. Inness's signature style is emphasized in his deformation of space where the foreground sinks to the middle ground and the middle ground sinks to the background by varying and sometimes confusing uses of crisp delineation contrasted with mist enshrouded features. For example, the objects in the foreground are just hints of grass and rocks while the center apple tree trunk is sharp and the wild flowers are sometimes sharp and sometimes just suggestions. And again in the background the roof line of the building in the distance is sharply delineated while the trees and fields around it are mass of tones and hazy shapes. The mission of his art was to see reality in a new light, an attempt to attain the vision and insight of God. Inness believed that his paintings should speak of the harmony and unity between nature, man and God. This was a constant struggle for him, he felt that he was never able to finish a painting because the medium of oil never fully satisfied his quest for the unity of spiritual and physical sight. Inness claims to have destroyed more paintings than he sold because of this struggle. Provenance: passed down within the family. The painting is believed to have been purchased by the consignor's great grandfather John Henry Burgard. Burgard was a shipping magnate and insurance man who started his career in 1880 in Buffalo, NY and moved to Portland, Oregon in 1888 where he was an influential business man. Burgard was a member of the Portland City Council, an organizer of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company, an organizer of the Columbia Pacific Shipping Company, Director of the Alaska Pacific Fisheries and on the directorate of various lumber and railway companies.
Condition: 724: The painting is in good condition. There is some light inpainting, mostly to the lower left and some frame wear as circled in red. There is some craquelure where the paint has been heavily built-up and some inpainting to the craquelure. The wood panel is in very good condition and shows no cracks or repairs. The frame is in very good condition and is of recent make.