William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916)
Landscape with Winding Uphill Road
Signed "Wm. M.Chase." l.r.
Oil on panel, 10 1/8 x 16 in., framed.
Condition: Gentle bowing to panel, subtle horizontal cracks to panel at center of each side, minor retouch primarily to sky.
Provenance: The estate of Richard Mellon Scaife, Pennsylvania. The proceeds from the sale of this lot will benefit a Pennsylvania art institution.
N.B. This painting has been recently reviewed by D. Frederick Baker and is now included in Ronald G. Pisano's The Complete Catalogue of Known and Documented Work by William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). It has been given the catalogue no. LAA.346 and the information will be entered in the Pisano/Chase Catalogue Raisonné Project files at the Kellen Archives, New York.
In his report Dr. Baker writes, "Use of a winding hill road starting in the foreground is an oft used pictorial device by the artist. But the detail of the house (u.r.) on the horizon top of a hill and the surrounding trees and vegetation is also a motif known to have been used by Chase. Aside from the physical elements, the work appears to have been painted in a masterly manner, dashed off by the artist with aplomb. The only issue is the rather indefinable jumble in the lower right quadrant of the painting. Usually Chase, though painting pretty much exactly what he saw, was more exact in defining even casual elements. It does, however, define spatial relationship adding to the sense of the receding hill. The signature is painted with authority and deftness, also a hallmark of Chase's style. Alas, the artist rarely dated and/or noted location in his landscapes. One might opine it was painted in the Shinnecock hills surrounding his summer home, several miles west of his famous Shinnecock Summer School located in Southampton, NY. In the summer of 1891 before his home was completed, he painted several paintings of the surrounding countryside on roughly the same sized wood panels; however the telephone pole near the house on the horizon would suggest it was done near Carmel, California, during his 1914 summer school relocated to the west coast-telephone poles being most evident in his wood panel painting of Monterey, California."
A copy of Dr. Baker's Art Research Report accompanies the lot.
Inscribed indistinctly in white chalk and "Jullett/#11" in pencil on the reverse. With an unattributed gummed label marked "No. 182/Picture" also affixed to the reverse. Frame is 16 3/4 x 22 3/8 in.
With an oval stamp from Painting Conservation Studio, Inc., Newark, New Jersey, on the frame backing board, inscribed "Date: 6/79/Treatment/Final Varnish/Acryloid 872" in pen. Backing board also with a green "SPB" sticker stamped "55."
Hairline crack to panel on right size measures 2 1/2 inches. Hairline crack on left side measures 2 inches. There is a tiny bit of retouch in each crack. Other retouch is primarily dots to the sky, with some retouch to cover old frame abrasions in the upper corners. Three or four small lots l.r. corner above the signature area.
Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.