LAURA WOODWARD | HOME IN THE WILDERNESS
By Women For Tomorrow's Women: A Benefit Auction For Miss Porter's School
1834 - 1926
HOME IN THE WILDERNESS
signed and dated 1877
oil on board
10½ by 8¼ in. (26.7 by 21 cm.)
This work is in good condition overall. There is minor frame abrasion at the extreme edges with minor associated paint loss, visible upon close inspection. There is minor craquelure throughout, visible upon close inspection. Under ultraviolet light there is minor inpainting to address some areas of frame abrasion at the edges and scattered dots throughout. Framed under Plexiglas.
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.
Hawthorne Fine Art, New York, Soaring Sights: Luminist Landscapes by Female Hudson River School Painters (1825-1875), February - April 2017, no. 16, pp. 28, 29, 31, illustrated in color
Laura Woodward, a New Jersey native, once shared a New York studio building with the Hart siblings, as well as pioneering female painters such as Eliza Pratt Greatorex, Sara Bascom Gilbert and Hannah Jane Blauvelt. While Woodward would ultimately become well-known for her mid- to late-career en plein air paintings of the undeveloped Florida wilderness, her success in doing so was predicated on the reputation she forged among the ranks of the male-dominated Hudson River School during the 1870s and 1880s.
Painted in 1877, while she was still living in New York City, Woodward’s Home in the Wilderness is an example of her early work. Most likely painted in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the rustic cottage at the composition’s center implies a sentimental narrative about the bucolic simplicity of frontier life. Woodward’s fine attention to detail in the rendering of wood and foliage is indicative of her typical fresh air studies, and is an exercise in the representation of nature’s sensory abundance.