House in a Grove of Trees

TitleHouse in a Grove of Trees
Mediumoil on panel
Dimensions12 x 11 1/2
Current OwnerSotheby's auction 1983
URL of Owner
CityStateNew York, NY
ProvenanceArtist; Mrs. F. C. Caruso, East Orange, NY; Augustus Oberwalder, N.Y.; Henry R. Rittenberg, N.Y.; Robert Hosea; early 1930s, N.Y.; Mr. Edward G. and Jane Robinson, Beverly Hills, CA; Hirschl & Adler Galleries, N.Y. 1981; Sotheby's auction, 1983
PublishedSheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1973.
ExhibitedSheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1973.
Subject DescriptionGround line 2 1/2 from bottom of panel. Small frame building with steeply pitched roof and single window at center of composition. House surrounded by low foliage. Eight tall bare trees screen the house from right and left. A picket fence in immediate area of the house. Rail fence continuing to right and left edge of picture and at a diagonal across the near foreground. Two small figures behind picket fence, left of center. The general tonality of the picture within a limited range of yellow-red-brown. Some suggestions of red and green in the figures and a single foliage area to the left.
ConditionGenerally good. Panel 3/4" in thickness, saw cut to a depth of 1/4" in a pattern of 7/8" squares. Fragment of a newspaper clipping with photograph of Ralph Blakelock glued to lower left corner.
Additional Examination NotesThe most interesting technical feature of the painting is the fact that the low foliage and tall trees surrounding the house has been drawn into the ground with a fine pointed instrument with some in-filling of brown pigment on top. The extremely delicate drawing of the smaller branches of the trees suggest that they may have been painted in first and then reinforced with the incised line. Notable too is the character of the incised line in the foliated trees to the right and left. It is a looping, doodling line more or less continuous in character. The paint surface of the sky is smooth, brightening in tone, behind the central motif. The foreground is heavily painted, the details of the rail fence depicted in long linear strokes.