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Robert Scott Duncanson

United States (1821 -  1872 ) Wikipedia® : Robert Scott Duncanson
DUNCANSON Robert Scott Winter Landscape

Swann Galleries
Feb 16, 2012
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Artworks in Arcadja
21

Some works of Robert Scott Duncanson

Extracted between 21 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Robert Scott Duncanson - Carp River, Lake Superior

Robert Scott Duncanson - Carp River, Lake Superior

Original 1850
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 37
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
CARP RIVER, LAKE SUPERIOR Robert Scott Duncanson 1821 - 1872 signedR.S. Duncanson.and dated1850.(lower right); also inscribedCarp. River./Lake.Superior./By. R.S. Duncanson./Cincinnati Ohio/1850(on the reverse) oil on board 8 by 10 inches (20.3 by 25.4 cm) Provenance W.B. Mc Lellan, Waynesville, Ohio, 1850 Private collection (sold: Sotheby's, New York, October 25, 1985, lot 11) Private collection (acquired at the above sale) Acquired by the present owner, by 1995 Exhibited Cincinnati, Ohio, Western Art Union, 1850, no. 4170 Ithaca, New York, Handwerker Gallery, Ithaca College,The American Landscape, January-February 1995 Annville, Pennsylvania, Suzanne H. Arnold Gallery, Lebanon Valley,Passages: Images of Transition in 19th-Century American Landscape Painting, August-October 1995 Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Westmoreland Museum of American Art; University Park, Pennsylvania, Palmer Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University; Worcester, Massachusetts, Worcester Art Museum; New York, The National Academy,All That IsGlorious Around Us: Paintings from the Hudson River School,August 1997-September 1999, p. 60, illustrated p. 61 Fredericksburg, Virginia, University of Mary Washington Galleries,All That Is Glorious: Paintings from the Hudson River School, October-December 2005 Literature Joseph D. Ketner,The Emergence of the African-American Artist: Robert S. Duncanson, 1821-1872, Columbia, Missouri, 1993, no. 31, pp. 30-31, 193, illustrated fig. 17, p. 32 Catalogue Note The scholar Joseph D. Ketner writesof the present work: "The artist's final tour of the Lake Superior region in the summer of 1850 is evidenced in his oil sketch ofCarp River, Lake Superior. The small format and broad execution of the painting suggest that he sketched it on the site. The battered and weathered trees indicate his interest in capturing the sublime forces of nature, as well as the picturesque qualities..." (The Emergence of the African-American Artist: Robert S. Duncanson, 1821-1872, Columbia, Missouri, 1993, p. 30).
Robert Scott Duncanson - Landscape With Ruin

Robert Scott Duncanson - Landscape With Ruin

Original
Estimate:
Starting price:

Price:

Lot number: 141
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Description:
Description:

ROBERT SCOTT DUNCANSON

American (1821-1872)

Landscape with Ruin

oil on canvas, signed lower right.

12 x 18

Provenance: Private collection, Pennsylvania.
Condition Report:

Canvas: Unlined

Condition: Very Good

Restoration: Very Minor

Frame: Period
Robert Scott Duncanson - Young America

Robert Scott Duncanson - Young America

Original 1846
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 1
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Description:
ROBERT S. DUNCANSON (1821 - 1872)
Young America.

Oil on canvas, 1846. 406x311 mm; 16x12 1/4 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower left.

Provenance: private Georgia collection, acquired in the 1960s or 1970s; thence by descent to the current owner.

Young America is both a dramatic and an unusual painting by Robert S. Duncanson, which was just recently rediscovered. Few figurative paintings from the early part of his career are known, let alone have come to auction. Before becoming an acclaimed landscape painter, Duncanson made some historical paintings in addition to typical genre commissions. Joseph D. Ketner II describes how Young America is "a rare, early example by Robert S. Duncanson from the first decade of his professional career, when he was traveling regularly between Cincinnati and Detroit painting portraits, still lifes, historical and 'fancy' pictures on commission." Patriotic imagery is an unusual subject for a commission, as it is usually found in popular printed material. Duncanson had adapted some common themes found in prints in his paintings The Drunkard's Plight, 1845, Detroit Institute of Arts, and Mary Magdalene, 1846, private collection.

This blonde young man and his battle scene differs from the typical representation of a youthful embodiment of nationalist spirit. This specificity makes the figure more than just an American symbol--Ketner suggests that the young man may be a son sent off to war whose family commissioned this likeness. The heroic figure of Young America, raising both his sword and the American flag, according to Ketner, is "possibly the earliest patriotic painting of the Mexican-American war period." Young America also shows the imagination and developing talent of a young American artist. This exciting discovery adds to the growing appreciation and understanding of this important 19th century painter's work.

We would like to thank Joseph D. Ketner II, curator-in-residence at Emerson College and noted Robert S. Duncanson expert, for his examination report and essay confirming the work. The painting is being sold with his report, dated January 5, 2012.

Robert Scott Duncanson - The Apennines, Italy

Robert Scott Duncanson - The Apennines, Italy

Original 1867
Estimate:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 39
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Description:
Robert Scott Duncanson

(American, 1821-1872)

The Apennines, Italy,

1867

oil on canvas

signed

Duncanson

and dated (lower left); titled, signed, and dated (verso)

10 x 16 inches.

Provenance:

By descent in the family to the present owner

Some surface dirt. Unlined. Some minor craqulure. Some old loss under varnish in upper right trees. Under UV: no obvious damage or restoration.
Robert Scott Duncanson - Winter Landscape

Robert Scott Duncanson - Winter Landscape

Original 1860
Estimate:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 75
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
ROBERT S. DUNCANSON (1821 - 1872)
Winter Landscape.

Oil on canvas, 1860. 610x915 mm; 24x36 inches. Signed, dated and inscribed "Cinci., O" in oil, lower right.

Provenance: obtained at Closson's, Cincinnati, in the 1950s; thence by descent to a private Ohio collection; obtained by the current owner in 2010.

Winter Landscape is a large and wonderful example of important 19th-century painter Robert S. Duncanson's landscapes, and a wonderful early view of Cincinnati. The son of a biracial tradesman from Virginia, and the grandson of a freed slave, Duncanson apprenticed in his youth to his family's housepainting and carpentry business in Canada. Duncanson moved to Cincinnati in the 1840s. A self-taught artist, he began his career by copying popular prints.

This painting has a complexity and richness to its composition with the various scenes of activity--from the fishing hole in the foreground to the farmhouse in the center and the ice skaters and the view of the city in the distance. The progression of scale and detail show the growing sophistication and devices that Duncanson could employ in his landscapes by 1860. Duncanson painted a smaller pair of landscapes, Summer and Winter, in 1849, that depict an abbreviated version of this scene--a farm house with a much tighter view of the Ohio River in the two seasons (both were sold at Sotheby's, New York, in 2003).

In the 1850s, Duncanson received extensive patronage and commercial success, and by April of 1853, he was able to embark on a "Grand Tour" with fellow Cincinnati artist William Sonntag through Europe. This two-year trip was a considerable achievement, the first such pilgrimage for an African-American artist. By 1860, Duncanson was well established as an artist in Cincinnati and had received numerous commissions. But the Civil War seemed imminent in December that year when, according to Joseph D. Ketner, he also began his ambitious Lotus Easters, 1861. Inspired by the Tennyson poem, it reflected his desire for peace. Ketner p. 17.

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