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  • Design Credit: Samantha Todhunter Design Ltd., Photo Credit: Oliver Clarke. Dimensions: H 18 in. x W 20 in.
  • Design Credit: Lucy Harris Studio, Photo Credit: Francesco Bertocci. Dimensions: H 18 in. x W 20 in.
  • Design Credit: Timothy Godbold, Photo Credit: Karl Simone. Dimensions: H 18 in. x W 20 in.
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Elihu Vedder
"Italian Coastal Landscape," Elihu Vedder, American Symbolism, Impressionism

$6,750

About

Elihu Vedder (1836 - 1923) Italian Coastal Landscape Oil on canvas, laid on papeboard 11 x 14 inches Signed lower right Provenance: Private Collection, Worcester, Massachusetts Elihu Vedder (1836-1923), the American painter, book illustrator, and poet, fits neatly in no artistic category. Vedder’s most powerful work emphasized perceptions, dreams, and emotion rather than realism, and so anticipated turn-of-the-century Symbolism. However, over the course of a 65-year career, he painted in whatever style he pleased, concerned only with satisfying himself. Vedder was born in New York City. Elihu lived part of his childhood in Cuba; the rest passed between his maternal grandfather’s house in Schenectady, NY and a boarding school. Vedder trained in New York with Tompkins Matteson and then in Paris with François-Édouard Picot. In Italy from 1858 to 1860, Vedder fell under the spell of Renaissance art. However, he was also interested in the modern Macchiaioli painters of Italy—forerunners of the Impressionists--who often painted outdoors to better capture natural light, shade, and color. But Vedder’s time in Italy ended abruptly in 1860 when his father cut off his financial allowance. The timing was fortuitous for Vedder’s art. He arrived just as the Civil War was beginning and the emotional political and military situation caused a great change in the artist. In Florence, Vedder had been painting richly colored glimpses of the Italian countryside. But in 1861, he began portraying strange combinations of objects in a dreamlike setting, tinged with an air of mystery. In his autobiographical Digressions of V [1910], Vedder wrote, “I am not a mystic, but I have a strong tendency to conjure up visions and to see in things more than meets the eye.” The unusual paintings and drawings of this period, such as “Sphinx” and “Sea Serpent,” form the basis of his modern reputation. Vedder’s American sojourn also was notable because he was deeply involved with the so-called ‘Bohemians’ who met at Pfaff’s coffee house (near the intersection of Broadway and Bleecker Streets). As a result, he befriended Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, and William Morris Hunt before they became cultural icons. At the end of the Civil War, Vedder settled permanently with the expatriate artistic community of Rome although he sometimes returned to the United States to work on commissions. On one return in 1869, he spent a summer in Glens Falls, NY and married local girl Caroline Rosekrans. Vedder’s large symbolic and allegorical paintings were popular in the United States. In the 1890s, he created murals for the Bowdoin College art gallery and for the hallway of the Reading Room of the Library of Congress. Yet Vedder’s greatest success was as a commercial illustrator. He is perhaps best known for his 55 illustrations for a popular U.S. edition of Edward FitzGerald's translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The book, published in 1884, sold millions of copies and became an international sensation. Vedder’s illustrative work was admired by the Pre-Raphaelites and he visited England many times. The success of the Rubaiyat enabled Vedder to buy a second home on the Isle of Capri, and he lived in Italy from 1906 until his death in 1923. Vedder’s sparkling images of the Italian landscape still retain interest but his best work was his allegorical and symbolic paintings. The romantic imagery--with its fascination with dreams, preoccupation with death, and tendency toward melancholy—has lost none of its power in the twenty-first century.

Details

  • Creator
    Elihu Vedder (1836 - 1923, American)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 18 in. (45.72 cm)Width: 20 in. (50.8 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    Larchmont, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU184129905862

Shipping & Returns

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    Ships From: Larchmont, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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