Scene Associated with Mount Vernon
1824 - 1906
Scene Associated with Mount Vernon
initialed E.J. and dated 1858 (lower right)
oil on board
board: 12 ¾ by 19 ½ inches (32.4 by 49.5 cm)
framed: 17 ¼ by 24 inches (43.8 by 61 cm)
This work is recorded as number 6.0.3 in the catalogue raisonné of Eastman Johnson's work compiled by Dr. Patricia Hills. It can be accessed at www.eastmanjohnson.org.
The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc., New York, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's:
This work is restored. The board is flat. The paint layer is stable, clean, and varnished. Retouches are visible in a couple of spots in the center of the white building, in the far right, There are a handful of small retouches in the vertical poplar tree on the right side associated with some unevenness to the board. There is one tiny spot of retouching in the left branch in the fork at center top in the willow tree. There are a few isolated dots of retouching that address tiny losses that occurred when the very top of a textured bump in the paint was lost. There are no noticeable retouches in the rest of the painting. The work is in very good state and should be hung in its current condition.
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. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color 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. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
According to the artist’s wife, and first recorded in the artist’s estate sale catalogue from 1907, Eastman Johnson created the present work during his visit to George Washington's former estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia, in 1857. It relates to a companion piece Mount Vernon in 1857 (Lot 21) also offered for sale in this auction. While neither Mount Vernon in 1857 (Lot 21) nor the present work depict recognizable structures extant on the estate today, she explained in her recollections of the painting that, “This study is of peculiar interest because it represents the tomb of Washington before it was rebuilt, and is a strong argument against the present hideous Gothic structure which has taken its place. On the left, in the shadow of large trees, stands a large circular mausoleum on a high plinth, with a short flight of steps leading to the platform. Nearby on the right stands a large weeping willow, a slender yew, and various other trees near a brick wall and the corner of a whitewashed building, all in full sunlight. In the gloom of the shadow near the steps of the mausoleum are seen the figures of two women, one dressed in black, one wearing a red shawl over her shoulders, and between them a small child dressed in white.”
In more recent scholarship provided by the Mount Vernon’s Ladies Association, the structures depicted in the present work do not match recognizable spaces on the property today nor historical images. According to the Eastman Johnson catalogue raisonné, however, the present lot is related to the Mount Vernon group of paintings in Eastman Johnson’s catalogue of work.