George Inness (American, 1825-1894). Oil on canvas tonalist painting titled "The Sun's Last Gleam," now titled "Beach Trees," depicting a grove of young trees with a larger tree rising amongst them, ca. 1894. Signed "Geo. Inness" along the lower left.
Special thanks to Michael Quick for his assistance in researching this lovely painting.
Literature: Michael Quick, "George Inness: A Catalogue Raisonne, Volume Two, 1880-1894," Wilsted & Taylor Publishing Services: Oakland, 2007, page 442, catalog entry 1151.
Ireland, "Works of George Inness," 1965, no. 1530, pages 403-404.
Exhibition: Chicago, Young's Art Galleries, "Catalog of a Loan Collection of Paintings by Americans at the Opening Exhibition," 1916, no. 1, as "The Sun's Last Gleam," p. 49, lent by Mr. T.W. Lewis.
Artist George Inness was a renowned American landscape painter, working largely in oils on canvas. He combined artistic sensibility with a designer's calculation, studying at the National Academy of Design and admiring the work of Hudson River School artists. George Inness' paintings also progressed from an early Barbizon style of depicting nature as it actually existed to a more Tonalist, symbolic rendering of nature based on the philosophy of Swedenborg. As an artist, George Inness painted panoramic landscapes whose composition is precise and the color is rich. George Inness' prints of landscapes, particularly giclee on canvas, are highly desired as focal points or accents for interior design. Original George Inness landscapes hang in prestigious museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and are highly prized by collectors, as are other landscapes in the manner of Inness.
The artwork presented here is characteristic of his of the late works that came from the Hartley family's possession during 1910-1920. The motif of an older tree surrounded by younger trees is familiar and recurs throughout Inness' life. The setting sun largely ignores the younger trees but bathes the largest in a golden-orange light.Sight; height: 21 1/2 in x width: 26 in. Framed; height: 34 in x width: 39 in.
The painting has been relined and re-stretched. There is craquelure throughout the painting. There are several areas of restorations: along the margins where the painting rubs against the rabbet, one spot along the left of the tree trunk measuring approx. 2 inches, five spots in the grass in the lower right quadrant of the painting ranging from 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, one spot in the grass along the lower margin below the tree measuring approx. 1 1/4 inches in diameter, and one spot measuring approx. 1/4 inch in the lower left quadrant of the painting.
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