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Two Oil Paintings of the West Coast by James Everett Stuart

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515.     STUART, James Everett. Two oil paintings on canvas: [1] Artist’s notes on front, lower left: 357 Original Sketch J.E. Stuart Oct. 16, 1888 Looking up the Columbia; [artist’s notes on back]: “No. 357—18 x 30. 200. Sketch Looking up the Columbia River, from below Castle Rock, Oregon, J.E. Stuart, Oct. 16, 1883.” [2] Untitled outdoor western scene showing body of water in foreground and mountains in the middle ground and distance, beneath a partly cloudy sky, with artist’s note at lower right: “806 J.E. Stuart, October 5, 1883, original sketch.” Visible from frame on both, approximately 44.5 x 75.6 cm. Original wooden gilt frames. Both paintings with moderate craquelure, a few small chips to second painting.

     James Everett Stuart (1852-1941) is said to have created over five thousand paintings in his lifetime, many of which focus on West Coast scenery, as here. He was born in Bangor, Maine, and supposedly was the grandson of portrait painter Gilbert Stuart. At age eight, his family settled in California, and he studied art at the San Francisco School of Design under the tutelage of Keith, Hill, and others. He made his first trip to the Northwest in 1876 and painted Oregon landscapes beginning in 1881. He was a founding member of the Portland Art Club, whose other members included Grafton Tyler Brown, Cleveland Rockwell, and others. He settled in The Dalles, Oregon, for a while where he made a living by painting signs for businesses rebuilding after a fire. He commented on that time, during which he completed many paintings like these two: “During the morning hours on Sundays, I made color paintings direct from nature of the wonderful subjects near the town, and when work was slack would take a camping and sketching trip to some nearby interesting places…and in that manner secured many of my most important subjects while working at commercial painting to earn my daily bread.”

     He later painted California adobes and missions, and in Yosemite, Yellowstone, and elsewhere. “Through his habit of writing on the back of each painting, he is known to have made over 5,000 paintings, from Alaska to the Panama Canal and from California to Maine. The studio productions were elaborate and pretentious compared to the large oil “sketches” made in the field” (Samuels’ Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West, pp. 472-473). The present two paintings are more in nature of oil sketches, as described by Samuels.


Sold. Hammer: $2,000.00; Price Realized: $2,400.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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