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Edward Henry Potthast Early 20th-Century Oil Landscape Painting

Item Details

Edward Henry Potthast (New York/Ohio; 1857 – 1927)
Untitled (landscape), 1911
Oil on canvas board
Signed “E Potthast” to lower right
Letter of authentication from John Wilson, PhD, attached to verso

An original oil painting on canvas board by very well-listed American Impressionist artist Edward Henry Potthast (Ohio/New York, 1857 – 1927). The painting depicts a craggy mountain peak bathed in glowing pink and yellow light. It is signed to the lower right and presented in a wooden frame with burled veneer. A letter to the verso from John Wilson, PhD, states that the piece was likely created in 1911 during Potthast’s visit to the Canadian Rockies, and that it seems to likely be a sketch created in preparation from Potthast’s work Climbing the Grade.

Provenance
Private collection, Cincinnati, OH
Purchased from Cowan’s Auctions, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2006

Potthast was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to a family of artistic talent, and began his formal artistic training at the age of 12 at McMicken School of Design, where he studied intermittently for over a decade under the tutelage of Thomas Satterwhite Noble.

From 1881 to 1885, Potthast traveled Europe, studying first in Antwerp with Polydore Beaufaux and Charles Verlat, before continuing on to the highly sought-after Royal Academy in Munich, where he was fortunate to have studied with formidable American artist Carl Marr. Potthast concluded his European studies at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he studied less than two months.

After returning to Cincinnati in 1885 and continuing studies under Noble, Potthast made his living as a lithographer, his works heavily steeped in the rich, dark-toned influences of the Royal Academy in Munich. He returned to Paris at the end of 1886, where he remained for the next several years, and in 1889 met American painter Robert Vonnoh and Irish painter Roderic O’ Conor at the Parisian artists’ colony in Grèz-sur-Loing, whose light-filled palettes and air-infused scumbling techniques profoundly impacted Potthast’s works, marking him as an Impressionist painter from that period forward. He returned to Cincinnati later that year and exhibited works in the Paris Salon of 1889, and in the Cincinnati Art Museum’s 1894 Impressionist exhibition Light Pictures, was the only featured American painter.

Benefiting from a humble success in his hometown, Potthast decided to pursue establishing himself as a professional artist living and working in New York City in 1895, participating in exhibitions at Art Institute of Chicago beginning in 1896, and at New York’s prestigious National Academy of Design from 1897 on. He achieved the Academy’s 1899 Thomas B. Clark prize for Best Figure Painting and was elected an associate of the Academy that same year. Potthast was an extremely private person and never married or had a family of his own. He died alone in his studio at his easel from a sudden heart attack in 1927.

Potthast’s works are represented in the permanent collections of numerous institutions across the United States, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Art Institute of Chicago; Cincinnati Art Museum; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.

Dimensions

22.0" W x 18.0" H x 1.25" D

- painting measures 16″ × 12″.

Item #

18CIN517-025

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