Johann Henrik Carl Berthelsen (Danish/American, 1883-1972). Oil on canvas painting titled "Winter in Washington Square, New York" depicting a peaceful snowy day in the city, 1952. Signed along the lower right. Dated along the verso along the stretcher.
His wintry paintings depicting New York City were among Berthelsen's most popular works, being collected by prominent figures including William Randolph Hearst, Richard E. Berlin, Frank Sinatra, Ethel Merman, and Dinah Shore. However, he did not begin as a painter. For much of his life, he was a professional singer and voice teacher who was essentially a self-taught artist. Though he worked in pastels for most of his life, he began painting in oils after losing many of his voice students during the Great Depression. He had a lifelong friendship with Wayman Adams, who had studied with William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri.
The artwork perfectly captures the beauty and atmosphere of wintertime snowfall at Washington Square in New York City. While bluntly depicting figures in the street and the city landscape under blinding flurries, Berthelsen emphasizes the peaceful yet cold atmosphere of winter snowfall, which attests that he was heavily influenced by the European Impressionists. The blue and grey-toned monochrome palette in the painting supports his focus on delivering the atmosphere rather than the detail of the scene.Sight; height: 16 in x width: 19 1/2 in. Framed; height: 21 1/2 in x width: 25 1/4 in.
The item is in good condition with no visible tears or losses. The surface is stable. There is a minute dent to the center of the sky as shown in the listing image. Along the lower margin, there is foxing started to form. To the lower right margin, there are light cracks to the paint. When inspected under UV light, there is no visible sign of restoration. Clean verso. Wear to the frame.
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