THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR
George Inness (1825-1894)
Early Morning, Montclair, New Jersey
signed and dated 'G. Inness 1892' (lower left)
oil on canvas
30 1⁄8 x 45 1⁄8 in. (76.5 x 114.6 cm.)
Painted in 1892.
Estate of the above.
Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, New York, Executor's Sale of Paintings by the Late George Inness, N.A., 12-14 February 1895, lot 18, sold by the above.
E.W. Bass, acquired from the above.
Thomas J. Watson, New York, by 1945.
Arthur K. Watson, New Canaan, Connecticut, by 1964.
Private collection, by descent.
[With]David Findlay Jr., Inc., New York, circa 1995.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
New York, Art House, Oil Paintings Exclusively by American Artists, Second Annual Summer Exhibition, June 1894, lot 53.
New York, American Fine Arts Society, Exhibition of the Paintings Left by the Late George Inness, December 27, 1894, p. 29, no. 8.
Montclair, New Jersey, Montclair Art Museum, Art in New Jersey from 1776-1876, 1945, no. 21 (as Sunset, Montclair, from the Artist's Window).
New York, Grand Central Art Galleries, A Loan Collection: Paintings by George Inness, December 3-20, 1947, no. 9.
Montclair, New Jersey, Montclair Art Museum, George Inness of Montclair, January 12-February 16, 1964, no. 46, illustrated.
Austin, Texas, University of Texas, University Art Museum, The Paintings of George Inness (1844-1894), December 12, 1965-January 3, 1966, pp. 39-40, no. 120.
The Mail and Express, New York, June 29, 1894.
Daily Evening Traveler, Boston, Massachusetts, August 11, 1894.
A. Lansford, "Grand Central Galleries Mark 25th Anniversary with Inness Show," Art Digest, vol. 22, no. 5, December 1, 1947, cover illustration.
L. Ireland, The Works of George Inness: An Illustrated Catalogue Raisonné, Austin, Texas, 1965, pp. 363, 368-69, nos. 1410, 1428, illustrated.
M. Quick, George Inness: A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. II, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2007, pp. 360-61, no. 1055, pl. 221, illustrated.
George Inness distinguished himself among the Hudson River School painters with his lifelong pursuit of a more modern aesthetic of landscape painting. Unlike his contemporaries who focused chiefly on creating realistic canvases of nature's vastness, Inness felt that "paintings were not necessarily pictures, and it was the artist's function, even his obligation, by an aesthetic and expressive reorganization, to interpret nature and not merely depict it." (N. Cikovsky, Jr. and M. Quick, George Inness, Los Angeles, California, 1985, p. 19) Particularly evident in his later works, Inness sought to capture the more elusive and spiritual aspects of nature on his canvas through a creative use of atmospheric perspective. Early Morning, Montclair, New Jersey can be seen as a pinnacle of Inness's career-long exploration of emotive color, which he described as 'the soul of a painting.'
Early Morning, Montclair, New Jersey depicts the quiet New Jersey countryside where Inness settled permanently in 1885. Residing full-time in this environment, Inness was able to focus intently on the changing atmospheric conditions of the day and season. In the present work, he explores the familiar rural landscape during the vibrant hour as night changes to day. The lush green foreground with cows grazing and a figure walking in the distance is completely overwhelmed by the saturated palette of glowing orange, yellow, pink and purple in the magnificent sunrise sky. Indeed, a contemporary reviewer exclaimed over this painting’s “most sensational sky, which recalls a tropical sunset more than it does a New Jersey dawn." (The Mail and Express, New York, June 29, 1894) As a result, like in the best of Inness’s landscapes, Early Morning, Montclair, New Jersey transcends its particular provincial location to become an impactful evocation of the colors and wonders of nature.
The present work was previously owned by Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM, prominent art collector and namesake of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s research library.
This lot is sold and shipped framed
This lot is the property of a private collector
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
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