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Details & Cataloguing

American Art

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New York

Jasper Francis Cropsey
1823 - 1900
INDIAN SUMMER ON THE SUSQUEHANNA
signed J.F. Cropsey and dated 1861 (lower right)
oil on canvas
24 by 41 inches
(60.9 by 104.1 cm)
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Provenance

Dr. Waller Lewis, 1861
Mrs. E. Willis
Sold: Sotheby's Belgravia, London, March 20, 1973, lot 100
Richard Green Gallery, London
Galerie de Tours, San Francisco, California
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1973
Alexander Gallery, New York, 1979
James Torelli, New York
Andrew Crispo Gallery, New York
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano, Switzerland, by 1982 (sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 30, 1984, lot 6, illustrated, as Indian Summer—Hudson River)
Acquired by the present owner at the above sale

Exhibited

London, England, Harveian Society of London, 1862
Omaha, Nebraska, Joslyn Art Museum; St. Louis, Missouri, Old Courthouse; Grand Island, Nebraska, Stuhr Museum; Chadron, Nebraska, Chadron State College, Fine Arts Gallery; Brookings, South Dakota, South Dakota Memorial Art Center; Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Nebraska Western College, A Sense of Place: The Artist and the American Land, 1973-1974, p. 58
Coral Gables, Florida, The Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, 19th Century American Topographic Painters, November 1974- January 1975, no. 31, p. 12
Houston, Texas, Wildenstein Art Center, American Paintings from the Late 18th Through Early 20th Century, 1978, no. 9
Houston, Texas, Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Art Center; Omaha, Nebraska, Joslyn Art Center, October 1982-June 1984, Nineteenth Century American Paintings from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, no. 16, pp. 46-47, illustrated (as Indian Summer, Hudson River)

Literature

Galerie de Tours, Hudson River School, San Francisco, California, n.d.
Kenneth W. Maddox and Anthony M. Speiser, Jasper Francis Cropsey: Catalogue Raisonné, Works in Oil 1842-1863, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, 2013, vol. I, no. 664, pp. 356-57, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Though Jasper Francis Cropsey was trained as an architect, he began painting in the 1840s and became well known for his Hudson River landscapes.  In 1847, he made his first grand tour of Europe, and during his second trip abroad in 1856 he made the acquaintance of John Ruskin and studied with John Constable, J.M.W. Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites.  Cropsey made his home in London until 1862, when he returned home following the outbreak of the Civil War.

Painted in 1856, Cropsey’s first Susquehanna scene, An American Autumn Scene on the Susquehanna River, was prominently displayed in the artist’s London studio, and his frequent return to the subject demonstrates the popular demand in England for images of the autumnal American landscape.  “To add a degree of veracity to this effect, Cropsey even went so far as to paste on cardboard preserved leaves in their autumn color, placing them next to the painting" (Peter Bermingham, Jasper F. Cropsey 1823-1900: A Retrospective View of America’s Painter of Autumn, College Park, Maryland, 1968, p. 27).

According to Dr. Kenneth Maddox, “In 1861 Cropsey not only painted this version [Indian Summer on the Susquehanna, the present work] and Autumn on the Susquehanna, 1861, but on January 20 he also sold a study, Autumn on the Susquehanna… Cropsey painted about thirty canvases of the Susquehanna, and some views are quite different from his first 1856 version” (Jaasper Francis Cropsey: Catalogue Raisonné, Works in Oil 1842-1863, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, 2013, vol. I, no. 664, pp. 357). As the dominant tonality of the English landscape in autumn is green-brown, these scenes of the Susquehanna River in their full array of reds, yellows, and oranges were visually compelling to Cropsey’s English clientele.

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