The Artist (his sale: American Art Association, New York, March 17, 1905, lot 258)
George A. Hearn, New York (acquired from the above; his sale: American Art Association, New York, February 25-March
4, 1918, vol. I, lot 81, illustrated)
W.C. Thompson, North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Private Collection, St. Louis
Bequeathed to the present owner in 2008
Internationale Kunstausstellung, Berlin, 1896, no. 7, p. 76
American Art Annual, 1918, vol. 15, p. 328
Dr. Ellen K. Morris, author of the forthcoming Edwin Lord Weeks catalogue raisonné, writes the following in the accompanying letter of authenticity for Lake at Oodeypore, India:
F.D. Millet, author of the Weeks estate sale catalogue, on behalf of American Art Galleries, wrote of this painting:
"Women are seen bathing and washing on steps at the left. In the centre of the lake is shown a beautiful white marble pavilion much resorted to for fetes on warm summer evenings, while over all towers the Maharajah's palace, many-windowed and vast, the whole enveloped in an exquisite sunset haze of opalesque coloring that casts its glow over, and transforms into a bit of fairy-land, lake, pavilion and palace, as well as the houses of the town and shade trees that come in between."
This outstanding painting was one of three works Weeks exhibited in the Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung in Berlin, 1896, held in conjunction with the International Exhibition there. Although the paper label on the stretcher bears the number 3138, the original exhibition catalogue lists the painting as catalogue entry 2404. Notwithstanding this discrepancy, there is no doubt that the two entries refer to the same painting—the present work. There is also a strong possibility that in 1895 "Lake at Oodeypore, India" was exhibited at the Empire of India Exhibition; Earl's Court, London, as No. 64. It is difficult to confirm this because Weeks tended not to use his established titles for many of large group of important paintings and small studies he shipped to London for this Exhibition, which ultimately won him a Medal of Honor. Weeks describes the exhibited painting as:"The Palace of the Maharana of Oodeypore, seen from across the lake in the early morning."
As poetic as Millet is in describing "Lake at Oodeypore, India" it is really Weeks himself who is our greatest aid as a writer in helping us to appreciate the visual drama and exquisite coloring of the painting by having published in 1895 his contemporaneous notes of his impressions of his visit to the area during his journey through Oodeypore, one of his favorite cities in all of India. In a section of Weeks' book, From the Black Sea through Persia and India (1895), he attempts to convey his impressions in 1893 of one of the places in India he found perhaps the most enchanted, a major portion of which became the subject matter of the present painting. He wrote:
"(A} few low steps lead down to the blue waters of Pichola Lake. ... the dancing reflection of the sun in the water is thrown up to long rippling waves of light into the shadow of the eaves. The view down the lake on the other side is unsurpassed in India. A long perspective of white palaces, with many domes and oriel windows, with solid masses of dark foliage rising from the water here and there, reaches to the great supporting walls of the Rana's castle, and at this point the lake opens out into greater width; its horizon of gardens and hills beyond is interrupted only by the fantastic silhouettes of the island palaces, which seem to float between water and sky." (pp. 270–271)
With the ability to communicate with words such as are contained in the above passages, his visual sensations and receptions to his subjects as he traveled through exotic landscapes and witnessing first-hand the glorious colors and textures of the strange and beautiful costumes he saw on the native peoples throughout India, and with his great talent to communicate in sensitive detail and appreciation the odd new forms and styles of the magnificent architecture he found—throughout India—all of which he published compellingly at last in 1895, we more fully understand how his written thoughts prove to be keys to a better visual appreciation of his paintings. We see clearly the correlation between his words and his paint brush in "Lake at Oodeypore, India," for example. Although Oodeypore (now Udaipur) proved to be arguably the high-point of his lengthy travels throughout India, he did not see the city until the end of his third and last expedition to India, around January 1893.
Oodeypore was a highly exciting discovery for Weeks in his long campaign to permanently record the exotic peoples and multi-faceted architectural history of India. He first traveled on expedition to India in 1882-83, again in 1886-87, and finally for the last time in 1892-93, when he recorded the wonders, at last, of the fanciful semi-arid cities in northwest India, just above the tropics, known as Rajasthan–the seat of centers such as Jeypore (now Jaipur), Ajmere, Amber, Gwailor, Oodeypore (Udaipur) and Ahmedabad.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale