Lot 23
  • 23

THOMAS HART BENTON | Still Life with Tulips

60,000 - 80,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Thomas Hart Benton
  • Still Life with Tulips
  • signed Benton (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 24 1/4 by 20 1/4 inches
  • (61.6 by 51.4 cm)
  • Painted circa 1916-17.


Anne Constable, Kansas City, Missouri
Burrell Galleries, Inc., New York, by 1961
Harcourts Gallery, San Francisco, California
Steve Banks Fine Arts, San Francisco, California
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1998

Catalogue Note

Painted circa 1916-17, Still Life with Tulips demonstrates Thomas Hart Benton's early study of the European Post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne. Like the French modernist, Benton builds the present work through constructive brushstrokes of subtly gradated tonal variations set within a distorted perspectival space. Benton’s interest in Cézanne dates to the earliest years of his career, sparked by the acquaintances he made while living in Paris in 1908. Among these influential figures was his fellow American painter Stanton Macdonald-Wright, whose veneration of Cézanne centered predominantly around the visionary painter’s application of warm and cool colors to indicate the advance and recession of space on a two-dimensional surface. Macdonald-Wright, whose ideas on color theory would soon become articulated in the movement known as “Synchromism,” encouraged Benton to similarly immerse himself in Cézanne’s vision of the world.

This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being prepared by the Thomas Hart Benton Catalogue Raisonné Foundation. Committee Members: Dr. Henry Adams, Jessie Benton, Anthony Benton Gude, Andrew Thompson and Michael Owen.