John Francis Murphy (American, 1853-1921) oil on canvas tonalist landscape painting, depicting a clearing in a line of autumn-hued trees with hills beyond; three young trees stand with bare branches at right while a small puddle of collected rainwater sits in the foreground, with an overcast sky overhead. Signed “J. Francis Murphy” lower right. Housed in a carved giltwood frame with pierced corners. Sight – 11 1/2″ H x 15 1/2″ W. Framed – 19″ H x 23″ W. Biography: John Francis Murphy, a leading tonalist landscape painter of the American Barbizon, was born 1853 in Oswego, New York. As a teen, he moved west with his family to Chicago, where he began painting billboards and theater backdrops. He received a few weeks of training at the Chicago Academy of Design, but was primarily self-taught. He found employment in New York as an illustrator, but was drawn to the countryside and began painting landscapes. A trip to France in 1886 deepened his familiarity with the work of the French Barbizon painters such as Corot, Rousseau and Daubigny. Murphy’s middle-period landscapes show the influence of American tonalists A. H. Wyant, George Inness, and Homer Dodge Martin. Murphy’s late paintings, created after 1900, are regarded as some of his best. CONDITION: Relined. Craquelure to sky area; 1″ scratch at right edge, 1/4″ flake line at left edge. UV light reveals area of inpainting at center left edge in trees; upper right quadrant between two trees, and several scattered areas in grass.
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