American, 1877-1943

Wild White Rose

1936, oil on board
estate stamped verso
16 x 12 in., frame: 20 x 16 in.

  • Provenance: The estate of the artist; Eva Lee Gallery, Great Neck, Long Island; purchased by a private collector, 1960; by descent within their family to a Massachusetts Lady.
  • Literature:
    - This painting is included in the Marsden Hartley Legacy Project: Complete Paintings and Works on Paper.
    - Hartley Estate inventory no. 248.
    - Archives of American Art, Elizabeth McCausland Papers, box 15, folder 30: frames 33-35.
  • Notes: Bears Paul Rosenberg Gallery (New York) label verso; stamped Property of Marsden Hartley verso.

    Modernist Marsden Hartley was a leading member of the Stieglitz group, with an innovative painting style that benefited from his exposure to French avant–garde styles and German painters. After spending years in Paris and Berlin, Hartley returned to the United States in 1915 and departed from his abstract style. His production of expressive landscapes, still life compositions, and portraits was inspired by his peripatetic lifestyle and the many places he lived.

    Hartley painted Wild White Rose in 1936, a notable year for him both personally and artistically. In September of that year, Hartley was living in Nova Scotia with the Mason family when both of their sons and their nephew drowned at sea. The death of his dear friends profoundly impacted Hartley, as can be seen in his repeated depiction of the iconic wild rose, or ‘rosa rugosa', which blooms along the Atlantic seacoast. In the ensuing years, Hartley produced many iterations of the rose to memorialize the event. The striking contrast, vivid colors, exaggerated form, bold black outlines, and flattened space of Wild White Rose exemplify his work from this period.

    Grogan & Company thanks Gail R. Scott for her assistance in cataloging this work.
  • Condition: Wear to edges of artist board, with corresponding chipping at corners (not visible when framed). This work was recently cleaned but otherwise appears to be in original condition.

    Please note: All property is sold "AS IS" and any statement, whether oral or written, is given as a courtesy and shall not be deemed as a guarantee, warranty, or representation of the authenticity of authorship, physical condition, size, quality, rarity, importance, provenance, exhibitions, literature or historical relevance of the property or otherwise. The absence of a condition report does not imply the item is in perfect condition.

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