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Henry Bacon
American (1839-1912)

Dreaming Anew
Departing New York Harbor

Pensive in thought sitting at a wood-slat stern bench of a departing vessel in New York Harbor, the prominent grandeur of the Statue of Liberty recently passed, a woman and her loyal dog set out on their ocean adventure. Nestled in among bouquets of flowers, she sits, one glove off contemplating the coming voyage. London? Paris? New Orleans? The destination is decided in her mind and imagination, but we know it not. Such romantic ship-board human subjects are the best works by Henry Bacon, and command his highest values.

It is interesting to look upon the care Bacon placed with the technical representation of the ship’s hardware. Parallel rail lines run against the strong vertical lifeboat davit, the weave of the rope securing the life-ring preserver to the outside face. Sensibly yet classically dressed in darker tones, her apparel echoes the last decades of the 19th Century, and the flower bloom in her blouse speaks to a sentimental attachment from someone wishing her well on her voyage.

The bright, colorful flowers add to the joy of the scene, with the haze of the harbor atmosphere and the subdued sense of the trip just getting underway. Another Steam/Sail passenger ship trails in this vessel’s wake, slicing the expanse of New York’s Inner Harbor on the way to the open Atlantic. The composition creates a longing to know the rest of her story.

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Eugene Boudin
French (1824-1898)

Jetées à Trouville

The first and premier French beach resort south of the Seine River, Trouville began as a world renown fishing village on the western coast. Resorts, mansions and a wooden boardwalk soon dominated the shoreline then and today, while our artist, Eugene Boudin, echoes the natural beauty of the region and the rugged nature of the city’s birth in this coastal scene.

A soothing work with a wide variety of color and a sunlit vast sky, the ebb and flow of the tide conveys a sense of timelessness. A slew of fishing vessels await the rising tide alongside the pier, while across two men work on a boat below the seawall as people in elegant dress with parasols stroll the seawall towards the Trouville Lighthouse on the point. Two small boats are in the channel, one showing a splash of red hull, while sailing vessels are in view on the open Atlantic Ocean.

This work from near the end of Boudin’s prolific career is special in its reflective glassy water and accents of sunlight throughout the sky, showing partially why Boudin was bestowed the title “The King of Skies” by Claude Monett. A quite pleasing coastal vignette.

Provenance: Art Emporium Gallery, Vancouver; Gordon & Jean Southam, Vancouver Newspaper Publishers and Forestry Empire, 1960s.
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Charles Camoin
French (1879-1965)

Ramatuelle

Above the edge of the city of Ramatuelle on the Saint Tropez Peninsula, a herdsman takes in the view of the Mediterranean glory beyond the city. The medieval town his today home to the luxurious beach of Pampelonne, playground of the world’s wealthiest. In Camoin’s time, it is still primarily a small town, situated near Gassin and immortal San Tropez. The homogenous architectural style of Spanish clay and red-tile roofs is in common use, in contrast to today’s elegant hotels and resorts.

Touches of earthy brown build the foreground hillside and feed the growth of the largest green tree that brackets the reaches of the painting. Interesting to note that the artist used a suggestive, skipping stroke here and for the rooftops he was more concerned with the geometric parallel lines and deep tones depressions between the tiles.

Deep lush foliage cuts the coastal hills and canyons in this view, and the idle sense is that the day is more relaxed and less frenzied than today’s pace. The ocean is a deep blue, the sky is lightened with clouds beyond the trees, and no one cares if the man is at leisure while the two blackish goats hit the canvas as shadowy spectres, oblivious to our watching presence. The artist strode this canyon, and found a pleasant escape for us all..

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Edward Cucuel
American (1875-1954)

Douglaston Bay, Long Island, Little Neck

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Richard Hayley Lever
American (1876-1958)

The Old Lighthouse and Fleets of St. Ives, Cornwall

An impressive large view of the Cornwall seaside port of St. Ives, this is a top-level painting by the artist Richard Hayley Lever. The diversity of activity on Smeaton’s Pier with spectators, shoppers, and a horse-drawn fish cart is complemented with the two fleets of sailing ships: The colorful fishing boats finishing their day’s work at anchor, and the multitude of pleasure-seeking sailing boats. Dominating the center is the Old Lighthouse, built in 1830 at what was once the pier’s end. The north-shore pier was built out in 1890 and another lighthouse was built at the new terminus.

One of the primary English coastal fishing villages, it evolved over the years in part due to its relative mild winters and cooler summers, so today it is regarded a premier English coastal vacation resort. Such diverse beauty made it a popular artists’ community as well, and Lever found this and became a resident artist for more than 10 years. This view is from his second-story art studio looking toward St. Ives Bay.

Hayley Lever made a sensational impact in America with his interpretive Post-Impressionism with aggressive impasto application, brushwork and daring coloration, in part directly inspired by Vincent Van Gogh. This particular epic work would have been in demand after his first American exhibition at the Carnigie International in Pittsburgh. American buyers clamored for his scenes after he exhibited “Port of St. Ives, Cornwall” in 1910.

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Mary Blood Mellen
American (1819-1886)

Sunset Calm Off Ten Pound Island Light, Gloucester

Evening light with radiating orange and red tones in the sky illuminates the world and this wonderful painting by Mary Blood Mellen of Ten Pound Island and Lighthouse within Gloucester Harbor. The Massachusetts shore is in view across the waterway while a two-masted coastal yawl works what little wind there is to make her way. Two other mariners have decided to employ their oars on their small sloop.

Mellen has rightly come into her own appreciation out of the enormous artistic shadow of Fitz Henry Lane. Gloucester locations are her featured specialty, with Ten Pound Island being a favored locale, not only of hers, but of Lane’s and Winslow Homer’s. The best of these works present just what this one has in abundance, an evening sunset full of luminous glow, serene water and a slice of the constant effort of the mariners. A New England lobster trap floats in the water as well.

This specific work, although unsigned as are the majority of her paintings, is widely published as one of the most iconic representations of Mellen’s artwork, after years of its location being unknown to the public in general. She remains an influential piece of the emergence of American Luminism.

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