Wilson Henry Irvine (American, 1869-1936) oil on canvas, “Landscape with Poplars,” depicting a spring landscape with trees in the background and small pond in the foreground. Signed lower right. Housed in a giltwood frame with egg and dart molded outer edge and ribbon molded rabbet edge. Label en verso for The Crane Collection, Boston, plus additional Turkey Stremmel conservation label. Sight – 9 1/2″ H x 13 1/2″ W Framed – 16 1/2″ H x 20 1/4″ W. Biography: Illinois native Wilson Irvine studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago under Charles E. Boutwood and later with the illustrator Walter M. Clute. Beginning in 1900, Irvine’s landscape paintings appeared in forty-one exhibitions hosted by the Art Institute, and soon his work was seen at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Corcoran Gallery, and the National Academy of Design. Irvine was awarded a silver medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. In 1895, Irvine and a group of fellow artists founded the Palette and Chisel Club of Chicago. In 1907, Irvine was one of the founders of the Cliff Dwellers Club, spearheaded by noted author Hamlin Garland. He was also active in the Artists’ Guild, which merged into the Arts Club, and the Chicago Watercolor Club. Irvine traveled to France in 1908, where he painted impressionist scenes in Brittany at Pont-Aven and St. Malo, which demonstrate a keen interest in the effects of light and a tendency toward color contrasts. In 1914, Irvine began to spend time in Connecticut near Old Lyme, where a distinguished group of painters had been gathering since the late 1890s. He was elected an associate member of the National Academy of Design in 1926. He traveled almost constantly in Europe and as far south as Charleston, South Carolina. Later in his career, he began viewing his subjects through a prism, which resulted in a halo effect around the edges of objects revealing green tones against a light background, and red ones against a dark one; the optical results have been equated to color printing when slightly off-register. These unique technical investigations may have been Irvine’s response to the rise of modernism. Nevertheless, he remained an avowed and prolific Impressionist until his death in 1936. Examples of Irvine’s work can be found at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Florence Griswold Museum, among other institutions. (source: Holly Watters, The Johnson Collection). CONDITION: Unobtrusive 2″ scratch at center, in treeline, otherwise excellent condition.
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