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George Inness

A Summer Morning

Property from the Brooklyn Museum, Sold to Support Museum Collections

George Inness

George Inness

A Summer Morning

A Summer Morning

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Property from the Brooklyn Museum, Sold to Support Museum Collections

George Inness


A Summer Morning

signed G. Inness and dated 1882-3 (lower left)

oil on canvas

48 5/8 by 72 1/8 in.

122.9 by 182.9 cm.

Executed in 1882-83.

The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc., an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's:


This work is in excellent condition. It has been restored and should be hung in its current state. The stretcher is original to the artist. The tacking edges are intact. The canvas has been lined using a non-wax adhesive. The lining has protected the impasto and the original texture of the paint layer. There are no signs of abrasion or weakness to the paint layer. Although some of the original pigment reads strongly when viewed under ultraviolet light, there are no retouches, with the exception of two spots on the edge of the lower right corner. It is certainly remarkable that a work of this period and scale should be in such beautiful condition.


Framed Dimensions: 92 1/2 by 65 1/4 in. (235 by 165.7 cm.)

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.

William T. Evans, New York

American Art Association, New York, 1900, lot 270 (consigned by the above)

[with] William Clausen, New York (acquired from the above)

Mrs. Sarah M. Gibb

Acquired as a gift from the above in 1917 by the present owner

“In the Studio and Gallery,” New-York Daily Tribune, 30 October 1882, p. 2

“The Academy Exhibition,” The World, New York, 31 March 1883, p. 4

“National Academy of Design,” New-York Daily Tribune, 31 March 1883, p. 5

Charles M. Kurtz, ed., Illustrated Art Notes; Fifty-Eighth Annual Exhibition, National Academy of Design, 1883, no. 41, p. 40, illustrated

”Pictures; The National Academy of Design,” The Sun, New York, 2 April 1883, p. 2

G.W. Sheldon, “The Academy Exhibition,” Harper’s Weekly, vol. 27, April 1883, p. 220, illustrated

“The Exhibition, National Academy of Design,” Boston Evening Transcript, 11 April 1883, p. 6

Clarence Cook, “The Academy Exhibition,” The Art Amateur, vol. 8, May 1883, p. 127

“Art and Artists,” Boston Evening Transcript, 16 May 1883, p. 3

"American Pictures at the Munich Exhibition,” The Art Amateur, no. 3, 1883, p. 92

S.R. Koehler, The United States Art Directory and Year-Book, New York, 1884, no. 22, illustrated

Nicolai Cikovsky, Life and Work of George Inness, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1965, p. 257, fig. 89

LeRoy Ireland, Works of George Inness: An Illustrated Catalogue Raisonné, Austin, 1965, no. 1046, p. 259, illustrated

William H. Truettner, “William T. Evans, Collector of American Paintings,” The Americana Art Journal 2, 1971, p. 75

The Brooklyn Museum, American Paintings: A Complete Illustrated Listing of Works in the Museum’s Collection, Brooklyn, 1979, p. 68, illustrated

Karen B. Crenshaw, “A Study of George Inness’ Painting Technique,” American Institute of Conservators: Preprints, 1981, p. 61

Michael Quick, George Inness: A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. II, New Brunswick, 2007, no. 776, pp. 110-12, illustrated

New York, National Academy of Design, Fifty-Eighth Annual Exhibition, 1883, no. 232

Munich, Königlicher Glaspalast, Illustrirter Katalog der Internationalen Kunstausstellung, 1883, no. 956b, p. 247 (as Im Sommer)

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Handbook No. 6, Part II. Loan Collections and Recent Gifts to the Museum in the Old Eastern Gallery, 1891-92, no. 15, p. 17

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Handbook No. 6, Part II. Loan Collections and Recent Gifts to the Museum in the Old Eastern Gallery, 1892, no. 52, p. 19 Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Museum, Works of American Painters, 1860-1885, 1917, no. 35

Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Museum, Exhibition of Paintings by American Impressionists and Other Artists of the Period “1880-1900,” 1932, no. 57

Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Museum, Victoriana: An Exhibition of the Arts in the Victorian Era in America, 1960, no. 195

A Summer Morning is a harmonious pastoral scene featuring a woman and child surrounded by grazing cattle. The large-scale composition hung prominently in the National Academy of Design's spring exhibition in 1883, and was also the painting that Inness selected to represent him at the international art exhibition in Munich later that same year. He completed the present work while spending his summers in Milton, Massachusetts, during a period in which he became particularly drawn to painting animals. His artist son, George Inness, Jr., was especially fond of illustrating animals in the 1880s, and even had a designated barnyard studio to facilitate his portrayals of farm animals. It is likely that Inness would have utilized his son's studio on occasion, as he shared his interest in depicting peaceful bovine subjects in outdoor atmospheres.

In the catalogue raisonné entry for the present painting, Michael Quick states the following: "Aside from its ostensible subject, this painting is one of the most prominent demonstrations of Inness's mastery of the portrayal of the action of daylight, a mastery gained during his summers in Milton. The light has an active quality, almost dematerializing some background foliage and at the same time creating form in flora and fauna in the foreground. Daylight blasts and fades the distances as it energizes the shaded foreground. Inness achieved these effects partly through modifications of form and partly through value and color, including lots of yellow in the lighted greens. Over the armature of a conceptual drawing - still discernible in the firm shapes of the central tree and the cows - Inness attempted to re-create a naively perceptual response to a scene, reproducing the way things looked, rather than the way he knew them to be. This attention to the actual appearance of lighted forms was intended to give the scene a vivid believability, so that viewers would respond as did one critic, who felt as though he might "walk into the picture."' (Michael Quick, George Inness: A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. II, New Brunswick, 2007, p. 111).