Lot 646
  • 646

Rare watercolor painting: Noah's Ark, John Landis (1805-?) Possibly Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, circa 1830

Estimate
10,000 - 15,000 USD
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Description

  • NOAH'S ARK
  • Watercolor and ink on paper
  • 10 by 13 5/8 in.
  • C. 1830
Watercolor and ink on paper

Inscribed (translated from German) recto, ink: God let the first world go under with water/! And Noah went attentively into a large chest/ At the last the world will stand in raging fire—/Where will be the refuge of the pious at that time? / I want, Lord Jesus, to prepare an ark for myself / When all will be consumed, out of your wounded side.

Provenance

Sotheby Parke-Bernet, October 26, 1985, lot 6

Exhibited

"Every Picture Tells a Story: Word and Image in American Folk Art," American Folk Art Museum, 1994-1995
"Millennial Dreams: Vision and Prophecy in American Folk Art," American Folk Art Museum, 1999-2000

Literature

American Radiance: The Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Museum, p. 242, fig. 214

Condition

Old repair upper right corner; replaced small edges tears, top and bottom.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
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Catalogue Note

Biblical literacy was great in southeastern Pennsylvania and other states among the Germans whose families came to America in the large German emigration between 1683 and 1812.  In part this was due to Pietism, a religious movement centered at Halle, in eastern Germany, from which many clergy came to America.  It was there, too, that hand Bibeln -- Bibles in a format that could be held for reading rather than the immense ones that had to be placed on a table -- were first printed and widely distributed, as they were in America as well.  The natural result was that Bible stories found their way onto frakturs and folk paintings.  Inevitably, the beloved story of Noah, his animals, and his ark was one of these which John Landis painted at least twice.  He also drew a scene of the Garden of Eden and the temptation to Adam and Eve, of Joseph and his brothers, and of Jesus in the upper room.  The John Landis who painted Noah's Ark is said to have been born in Hummelstown in 1805, to have studied printing and painting, to have journeyed to Europe and Israel, and to have died in the Lancaster County almshouse.