By Women For Tomorrow's Women: A Benefit Auction For Miss Porter's School
MARY FAIRCHILD MACMONNIES LOW
1858 - 1946
BATTLESHIPS ON THE HUDSON RIVER (THE TURN OF THE TIDE)
signed and dated 20 JANUARY 1919
oil on canvas
22 by 29¼ in. (55.9 by 74.3 cm.)
This work is good condition overall. The canvas is lined. There is frame abrasion at the extreme edges and there is fine scattered craquelure, notably in the upper margin and in an area near the plane, visible upon close inspection. Under ultraviolet light there is inpainting to address frame abrasion along the extreme edges, scattered dots and lines in the sky and water, and a spot above the cliffside near the right center edge. Framed without glazing.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Mr. Alfred E. Waller, 1919 (gift of the artist)
Marjorie MacMonnies Young, 1967
Thence by descent to the present owner
Mary Fairchild MacMonnies Low was a well-respected Impressionist painter of portraits and landscapes, who received major commissions and was the recipient of numerous awards throughout her career. Today, her paintings are owned and collected by museums and other institutions, such as Sheldon Swope (Terre Haute, Indiana), the National Academy (New York City), and the Musée Vernon (France).
Battleships on the Hudson River (The Turn of the Tide) is primed as a Tonalist work with a hazy atmosphere and constrained palette, exemplary of her mid-career emphasis on atmosphere and mood. Painted in 1919, the scene depicts the United States fleet on the Hudson River at the close of World War I. The even spacing of anchored battleships and the precision of their ominous forms creates an eerie juxtaposition of hard lines against the fluidity of the landscape. Low's engagement here with a vision of national defense is unusual in her oeuvre, indicating an interest in historic subjects and wartime advancements alongside the natural forms typically favored by her Impressionist counterparts.