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Alexander Helwig Wyant
Pool on the Ausable

1871

$45,000Asking Price

About

Alexander Helig Wyant (1836–1892) Pool on the Ausable, 1871 Oil on canvas, 17 x 25 ½ in. Framed dimensions: 28 x 34 in. Signed lower right: A H Wyant Provenance: Estate of George Haines, Stamford, Connecticut Born to a farmer/carpenter in the village of Evans Creek, Ohio, Alexander Helwig Wyant, achieved a notable reputation as an American landscape painter that continued to grow for some thirty years after his death. As a youth he first apprenticed as a saddlemaker, and then began to paint signs for a living in Ohio and Kentucky. On a trip to Cincinnati in 1857, he saw the work of George Inness for the first time. He was so moved by the work, that he went to New York to meet the artist in person. Inness, impressed by the young artist, arranged for Wyant to meet Nicholas Longworth, Cincinnati's leading art patron, whose financial support enabled Wyant to spend about a year in New York City. In 1865, Wyant returned to New York and had his first exhibition at the National Academy of Design. The old guard of the Hudson River School, who still governed the New York art world and believed that the Dusseldorf Academy offered the best art instruction in the world, influenced Wyant to study in Germany. After a little over a year in Europe, Wyant returned to New York and his studio on West 57th Street. In New York, Wyant joined the American Society of Painters in Water Colors in 1876. The following year he was elected to the National Academy of Design and was made a full Academician in 1869. He resumed his friendship with Inness, exhibited in New York, Brooklyn, Boston, and Philadelphia; he also began to sketch in upstate New York and as far as New Jersey, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. In 1873, Wyant joined a government expedition to Arizona and New Mexico, on which he endured much hardship. As a result, he suffered a stroke that left him paralized on the right side. Showing admirable spirit, he learned to paint with his left hand under the instruction of Joseph Eaton, an Ohio portrait painter. In about 1874, Wyant rented a studio at the YMCA, in New York City, and began to teach art to a few students, including Arabella Locke, whom he married in 1880. In the late 1870s, Wyant was elected to the Society of American Artists and also joined the Century Association. He began to spend more time away from New York City, preferring to be in Keene Valley in the Adirondack Mountains. He was among the first aritsts to build his own home there. “He selected a location above the Ausable River on the edge of a cliff, known as ‘Wyant’s Rock’ with a broad view of Noonmark and Dial.” Later, Wyant lived in Arkville, in the Catskills. Wyant’s soft-focused, tonal landscapes painted in his late career won Wyant the great critical and popular acclaim that continues to this day. While Wyant was influenced by the Hudson River School, he developed his own personal style that drew also on Barbizon painters and on later works by Inness. In 1919, an article in Arts & Decoration proclaimed : “If one were to ask the average person who were the three greatest American landscape painters, the answer would probably be : Inness, first; Wyant, second; and after that, any one of a dozen others, no two persons agreeing on the third.” Paintings by Wyant can be found in many leading private collections and major museums across the country, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Cheekwood Fine Arts Center, Yale University Art Gallery, Newark Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Corcoran Gallery of Art, National Museum of American Art, High Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Heckscher Museum, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

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