Cincinnati Art Galleries: “Provenance”

March 27th, 2021  |  Published in March 2021

Cincinnati Art Galleries, at 225 East 6th Street, is presenting new acquisitions including small and medium sized paintings including sixty pieces from the collection of Charles and Patricia Weiner and additional estates of knowledgeable collectors. Entitled “Provenance”, it is an excellent acquisition opportunity for starting or augmenting personal collections.

Robert Bruce Crane (1857-1937) “An Autumn Memory” Oil on Canvas

Paul Ashbrook studied with William Merritt Chase and was a student of Frank Duveneck at the Art Academy. His art career included design for Strobridge Lithography Company while making regular painting and etching trips to Europe and Mexico. Two works offered in this collection illustrate his personal versatility.

“Mexican Girl” is a medium sized watercolor depicting a three quarter female figure posed on a sunlit adobe wall. Her ethnic attire cast aside for simple European dress with a long apron and rolled up sleeves, the young woman patiently gazes over her shoulder as the artist completes her portrait.

Another work, a small oil entitled “Mexican Alley” cherishes a sunlit afternoon in an abandoned alley. Patched adobe walls perforated with arbitrary fenestration are shuttered against the sun on a bright blue day. A multi-toned lavender shadow cast by unseen trees, meanders toward the lane’s destiny under a heavily vined trellis. The appealing subject matter is enhanced by the colorful palette and impressionistic brushwork.

Another colorful painting set in the quaint, shadowed street of cobblestone of a small village, depicts a pleasant encounter. This painting entitled “Dutch Flower Girls” by George Hitchcock depicts a traditionally costumed flower girl pausing to refresh with her female acquaintance. Her massive baskets of golden fresh picked flowers are transported with the traditional shouldered crossbar and accent the lavender shadows in the sun-spotted lane.

Nicolai Fechin (1881-1955) “Sunset” Oil on Canvas

Several works depict customary social interactions with humorous asides in context.

Dutch artist Johan Jacob Bodaan 1881-1954, illustrates “Skating on Lake”, a 15×22″ oil on board.  Ice skating, the national pastime of the Netherlands, is the portrayed social event with multiple couples in turn of the century costuming partaking in the festivities.  An attractive young lady seated on a bench at the lake edge is being fitted with ice-skates. A female familiar steadies herself on the ice with a sturdy staff while her  debonair escort attempts to recover his composure having lost his balance and his tri-corner hat on the ice. The primary couple however is a robust young man, arrayed in black accented with red scarf and outer garment and confident in his skate wear, gallantly assisting his finely dressed escort to the lake’s edge. Her stylish but impractical footwear threaten to sabotage her attended approach on the ice. Couriers in attendance observe the frivolities unsheltered at their stations.

Paul Ashbrook (1867-1949) “Mexican Alley” Oil on Canvas

Etchings of note are featured as well. “Paysage a Auvers” a soft ground etching by French impressionist, Paul Cezanne, depicts the partial constructs of an anonymous farm enclosure. The artist employs deceptively simply pattern and line to inform the image.  Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter to the court and is associated with influencing French Romantic  painters. An aquatint etching from his “Disaster of War Series #82” depicts a buxom beauty accosted by an unkempt male holding a long handled tool, possibly a ditch digger. The male figure, his face obscured by his tangled mop of hair, hovers so close to the girl that one intuits her anxiety and vulnerable position in her expression and fully exposed breasts. Leaving much about the incident to the viewer’s investigative powers, the artist injects the element of surprise and alarm with the unnatural aura that illuminates her figure and the clutching woolly headed man.

Nicolai Fechin is a 20th century Russian whose paintings of the American Indian in the South west are noted for technique and stunning style. This work evolves around a harnessed light grey farm animal grazing near a reflective pond. The artist’s approach to subject matter in heavy paint applied with palette knife and raking brush strokes enlivens the theme with textural interest and description bordering on abstraction.

James R. Hopkins (1877-1969) “The Blauneigh Chateau” Oil on Board

Additionally, a number of bucolic landscapes, gem-like in their colorful brilliance, are offered to the collector. These make wonderful acquisitions as decor accents and feature a variety of landscape in every season.

“French Broad River, NC” by Hildegarde Hamilton,  is a multi-colored fall composition featuring the foothills of North Carolina. “Fall Woodland Scene” by William Eyden Jr. is a pleasant stroll through autumnal colors. “An Autumn Memory” by Bruce Crane is a delicate and beautifully rendered moment in time.

“Spring Stream” by Elise Ford celebrates the rushing waters under pastel blue skies with delicate clouds.  Two Beach scenes by Donald Fraser, “Sunny Day at the Beach” and “Beach Clouds” invite the viewer to bask in the endless sand and sea. James R. Hopkins is represented with “The Blauneigh Chateau”, which casts the silhouette of a  unique European chateau against a cool blue snowcapped mountain range.

This collection offers representational work in a variety of mediums and subject matter.

Oils, watercolors, gouache, and several prints and etchings by notable collectable artists present a tempting opportunity to enhance your life with enjoyable artwork.

Exhibition on view currently at 225 East 6th Street, Cincinnati, Ohio

–Marlene Steele

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