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PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT AMERICAN COLLECTION

William MacLeod
VIEW OF THE CITY OF WASHINGTON FROM THE ANACOSTIA SHORE
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 312,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
54

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT AMERICAN COLLECTION

William MacLeod
VIEW OF THE CITY OF WASHINGTON FROM THE ANACOSTIA SHORE
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 312,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

American Art

|
New York

William MacLeod
1811 - 1892
VIEW OF THE CITY OF WASHINGTON FROM THE ANACOSTIA SHORE
signed Wm MacLeod and dated 1856 (lower right)
oil on canvas
37 by 53 inches
(94 by 134.6 cm)
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Brune Family Estate, Baltimore, Maryland
Private collection, Baltimore, Maryland, 1984
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1990
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1993

Exhibited

Baltimore,  Maryland, Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland Collects: American Paintings from 1750 to 1900, 1988
New York, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Neo-Classicism in America: Inspiration and Innovation, 1810-1840, 1991, no. 91, p. 120, illustrated

Literature

Andrew J. Cosentino and  Henry H. Glassie, The Capital Image: Painters in Washington, 1800-1915, Washington, D.C., 1983, p. 105

Catalogue Note

William MacLeod was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1811. He studied art in New York City, first exhibiting at the American Art Union, and traveled along the Eastern Seaboard learning to paint landscapes in accordance with the Hudson River School tradition. By 1856 MacLeod had moved to Washington, D.C. and served as the first Curator of Painting at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from 1873-1889. He was influential in shaping the institution’s vision and establishing the importance of the role of museum curator in the United States. In his application for the position, MacLeod emphasized his intimate connection with the city of Washington, which underwent a number of significant changes during his lifetime. He witnessed the burning of Washington by the British in 1814 and its growth into the nation’s capital based on the architectural plan of French-American military engineer Pierre Charles L’Enfant.

Painted in 1856, the present work depicts the city of Washington as seen from across the Anacostia River. Visible in the distance are several monuments that would have been present at this time and a result of the ‘L’Enfant Plan’. From left to right MacLeod depicts the half-completed Washington Monument, the Department of the Treasury, the Norman style “Castle” of the Smithsonian Institution that was completed one year earlier, the original flat dome of the Capitol, which was replaced with the present dome in 1863, and the Navy Yard. The figure sketching in the foreground is believed to be a self-portrait of the artist.

The artist painted another version of View of the City of Washington from the Anacostia Shore in 1856, which is in the collection of The White House, Washington, D.C. It varies slightly from the present work in the placement of the cows and the inclusion of an umbrella next to the figure sketching in the foreground. MacLeod painted a smaller version of this view twelve years earlier, which is in the collection of The Diplomatic Reception Rooms, Washington, D.C., and depicts the Capitol as it appeared after the building’s completion in 1827.

American Art

|
New York