George Harding Landscape Oil Painting of Forest Interior
George Mathews Harding (American, 1882 – 1959)
Untitled (forest interior), early to mid 20th century
Oil on canvas mounted to board
Signed to lower right
As one of eight combat artists chosen to join the American Expeditionary Forces in March of 1918, George Mathews Harding was known for his emotional imagery of World War I. His work included intense battle scenes and the aftermath of war campaigns that lead him through the Germany occupation, Marne, St. Mihiel and Argonne. After World War I, he returned to his birthplace of Philadelphia and published a limited edition portfolio entitled The American Expeditionary Forces in Action.
Harding began his professional artistic career studying Architecture at Boston Tech, but then chose to practice fine art at the Pennsylvania Academy, under the influence of his successful sister Charlotte Harding. He quickly started creating works as an illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post and Harper’s Monthly Magazine from 1903 to 1935, where many of his documentations of the war can be found. However, Harding also traveled the world with writer Norman Duncan to illustrate their experiences in the Middle East, China, Southwest Asia, and Australia. He was officially part of the Fine Arts faculty as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania in 1915.
At the age of 60, Harding became a captain of the U.S Marine Corps to observe campaigns off the Pacific coast in World War II, as a combat artist. Today, George Mathews Harding’s published artwork can be found in the Smithsonian Institution’s permanent collection.
- canvas trimmed and mounted to board; notable accretion across painting, abrasions, slight yellowing to pigments, minor paint loss across painting surface; abrasions, accretion, nicks and wear to frame.
- painting measures 14″ × 12″.