Published: August 29, 2000
The Realist Tradition
America and Abroad in the Nineteenth Century
WISCASSET, ME. – “The Realist Tradition: America and Abroad in the Nineteenth Century” is on view at the Wiscasset Bay Gallery through September 29. The exhibition focuses on the paintings and watercolors from the second half of the Nineteenth Century. This period showed a move away from the formality of Classicism and the sentimentalism of Romanticism and a move towards realistic depictions of every day life with people at work or play.
In Edwin Thomas Roberts’ (1840-1917) “Finishing Her Lessons,” the viewer sees a young girl completing a drawing or painting of a vase of flowers. Details of her world include her favorite doll, her schoolbooks, a hanging basket and a painting on the wall.
Echoing Roberts’ interest in genre is a work by American artist James Crawford Thom (1835-1898) titled “Fishing Along the Creek.” Thom studied under the important French Barbizon painter Jean Baptist Camille Corot (1796-1875), who espoused painting outdoors from direct observation of nature. Thom captures the essence of childhood with a boy and his fishing pole walking along a rural creek.
Franklin D. Briscoe (1844-1903) and George Howell Gay (1858-1931) also reflect this interest in realism and naturalism in their marine paintings of the period. While Briscoe has chosen to depict fisherman at work hauling a catch, Gay has captured the clarity and light of the sea with schooners under full sail on the horizon.
Other American and European artists whose works are featured in the exhibition include Gustave Wiegand (1870-1957), Russell Smith (1812-1898), David Cox, Jr. (1809-1885), Arthur Quartley (1839-1886), Andrew Block (1850-1916), Thomas Noelsmith (d 1900), Thomas Stanley Barber (d 1899) and Edward Moran (1829-1901).
The gallery, Main Street, is open 10:30 am to 5 pm and Thursday and Saturday evenings until 8 pm. For information, 207/882-7682.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm