Robert Loftin Newman (Tennessee/NY/ France, 1827-1912), "Mother and Child," oil on board painting depicting a woman closely holding a very young child in a dark, dense landscape setting. The dark haired woman wears a dress with light blouse and full red skirt, and the unclothed child stands on her lap with one arm outstretched. Signed "R.L. Newman" lower right. Exhibited, the National Collection of Fine Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. retrospective of Newman's work, October 26, 1973 – January 6, 1974, and pictured in the catalog on page 158 (#109). Exhibition label en verso identifies the lender to that exhibit as Victor Spark; catalog also lists Graham Gallery, New York in the provenance line. Molded giltwood frame. Sight – 16 1/2" H x 12 3/4" W. Framed – 23" H x 19" W. Biography: Born in Richmond, Virginia, Robert Newman grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee. He is sometimes associated with Albert Pinkham Ryder, with whose work he shared thematic and stylistic affinities. Mothers and children were frequent subject matter, along with Old and New Testament themes. He studied briefly with Thomas Couture in Paris in 1850, and on a second trip to Paris in 1854, William Morris Hunt introduced him to J. F. Millet and to Barbizon. Newman served with the Confederate forces during the Civil War before moving to New York. He returned to Tennessee in 1872 and tried to establish an academy of fine arts in Nashville, but by 1873 he was back in New York, where he resided the rest of his life. He rarely exhibited his work. Source: Matthew Baigell, "Dictionary of American Artists" ; Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"; The Smithsonian American Art Museum. CONDITION: Painting in very good condition with restored varnish and newer backing board added. Frame likely not original.
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