Flecks of Foam1911
When Flecks of Foam was auctioned at the American Art Galleries in 1916 the accompanying catalog described “a low, rambling, rocky coast [that] is brilliant with spots of color—blue, red, yellow, green, black, pink, brown—on a gorgeous summer day, and a woman in white, sheltered under a red parasol, is seated on a rock shelf looking over a sea that all but laps her feet. The spent waves circling among outlying boulders are foam-flecked; farther away are emerald shallows; and the distant sea is blue under a horizon of faint rose.” Henry Golden Dearth was a conventional tonalist painter until around 1912, when, six years before his death at the age of 54, his style underwent a radical transformation. Probably influenced by the late works of the painter Adolphe Monticelli (French, 1824 - 1886), Dearth began to work outdoors and to apply pigment directly from the tube onto his canvas, sometimes manipulating it with a palette knife or brush handle. Dearth’s most effective works using this unusual technique were his rock pool subjects, among them Flecks of Foam, a highly representative example of the artist’s new direction. Most of these were painted near the artist’s studio in Le Pouldu, a small hamlet in Brittany along France’s northwest coast. One influential critic praised these paintings for a “beauty of workmanship and originality of conception” that earned Dearth a place “among the finest painters of his generation.” Hugo Reisinger, the noted German-born collector and advocate of modern American art, purchased Flecks of Foam in 1912.
- 45,3 x 55 cm
- Oil on wood
- Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington
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