"BRIDGE GRAY EFFECT" (SEINE, PARIS)
Inscribed with title verso, oil on panel
6 5/8 x 9 in. (16.8 x 22.9cm)
Executed in 1899.
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, New York.
Christie's, New York, sale of December 5, 1986, lot 192.
Richardson-Clarke Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts.
Acquired directly from the above in 2002.
Collection of Dorrance H. Hamilton.
"American Artists in France: Works From Paris and the French Countryside," Richardson-Clarke Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, March 29, 2002 (illustrated on the cover of the brochure).
Robert Henri is best known as a prominent and celebrated representative of the Ashcan School, whose members differentiated themselves from the American Impressionists by focusing on urban realism. Rather than depicting idyllic landscapes in bright colors, Henri and other Ashcan artists such as John French Sloan (1871-1951), Everett Shinn (1876-1953), William Glackens (1870-1938) and George Luks (1867-1933) espoused the notion of creating "art for life's sake" instead of "art for art's sake." This meant portraying urban people and settings, particularly New York's streets, restaurants, theatres, and lower class neighborhoods, often using gestural brushstrokes in a predominately dark color palette. Henri trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) and Thomas Anshutz (1851-1912), as well as at the Académie Julian in Paris under William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905). Henri split his time mainly between Paris, Philadelphia, and New York. As he spent much of his working life in Paris, many of his works depict its surroundings.
In the present lot, the iconic river Seine is shown, with billowing clouds in darkened blue sky. As the title suggests, the palette is replete with various hues of grays, shading the riverbank as well as the river itself.
Sold for $20,000 (buyer's premium included)