70
70

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, NEW YORK

Maurice Brazil Prendergast
THE DEER PARK
Estimate
600,000800,000
JUMP TO LOT
70

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, NEW YORK

Maurice Brazil Prendergast
THE DEER PARK
Estimate
600,000800,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

American Art

|
New York

Maurice Brazil Prendergast
1858 - 1924
THE DEER PARK
signed Prendergast (lower left)
oil on canvas
23 1/4 by 32 1/2 inches
(59.1 by 82.6 cm)
Painted circa 1914-15.
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Provenance

Charles Prendergast (the artist's brother), 1924
Mrs. Charles Prendergast (his wife), 1948
M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1967
Private collection, Florida, 1967
Steven Straw, Newburyport, Massachusetts
Kennedy Galleries, New York, by 1979
Milton and Adriene Porter, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1980 (acquired from the above)
Owen Gallery, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 2006

Exhibited

New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Paintings and Watercolors by Maurice Prendergast: A Loan Exhibition, November 1966, no. 56, illustrated
Beverly Hills, California, Petersen Galleries, Exhibition and Sale, March-April 1978
New York, Kennedy Galleries, The Eyes of America: Art from 1792-1979, May 1979, no. 26, illustrated

Literature

Fairfield Porter, "The Prendergast Anomaly," Art News, 65, November 1966, pp. 38-39, illustrated
Carol Clark, Nancy Mowll Mathews and Gwendolyn Owens, Maurice Brazil Prendergast, Charles Prendergast: A Catalogue Raisonné, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1990, no. 418, p. 304, illustrated 

Catalogue Note

Painted circa 1914-15, The Deer Park was executed after Prendergast's influential 1907 trip to Paris, where he encountered works exhibited by the French Post-Impressionists and the Fauves. While Prendergast was inspired by many of these revolutionary artists, it was Paul Cézanne who had the most significant impact on the artist and his subsequent work. Before leaving Paris, Prendergast wrote to Mrs. Oliver Williams, a friend from Boston, "I have been extremely fortunate in regard to the exhibitions, not only in the spring with the Salons but Chardins, Fragonard, etc. and the delightful fall exhibitions which last during the month of October. They have all Paul Cezannes [at the Salon d'Automne]... Cezanne gets the most wonderful color, a dusty kind of a grey. And he had a water color exhibition late in the spring which was to me perfectly marvelous. He left everything to the imagination. They were great for their symplicity [sic] and suggestive qualities... I was somewhat bewildered when I first got over here, but I think Cezanne will influence me more than the others. I think so now" (Nancy Mowll Mathews, Maurice Prendergast, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1990, p. 25).

The Deer Park fully incorporates Prendergast's new ideas about color and form, yet also returns to a theme he explored throughout his career–fashionable members of the leisure class enjoying themselves in an idyllic landscape. Like the Post-Impressionists, Prendergast emphasized the flatness of the picture plane, dividing the composition into horizontal bands of color and creating a mosaic-like design. He "applied a carefully worked out color scheme in small dabs of paint. The result is an overall open surface pattern that allows the light colors...underneath to shine through for a glowing luminous effect" (Ibid., p. 27).

Around 1914, Prendergast began to include fairy-tale-like elements in his compositions and this growing interest in fantasy is evident in The Deer Park where deer amble among the crowd. The artist's innovative mosaic of brushstrokes and use of vibrant, jewel-toned color further heightens the atmosphere of animation and delight. A contemporary critic reviewing works of this period wrote, "[Prendergast] is a serious and humble student of design, and marshals line and color into patterns of some intimacy and much interest. ...his work has rhythm and beauty and a quaintness of humor that go far to inveigle the ordinary observer into acceptance of an extraordinary piece of craftsmanship" (Ibid., p. 35).

American Art

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New York