Dorothy by Julian Alden Weir
Dorothy by Julian Alden Weir Dorothy by Julian Alden Weir Dorothy by Julian Alden Weir Dorothy by Julian Alden Weir
Dorothy by Julian Alden Weir

Dorothy by Julian Alden Weir

  • This remarkable oil on canvas is by leading American Impressionist Julian Alden Weir
  • Entitled Dorothy, the work depicts his three-year-old daughter in an enchanting outdoor scene
  • Charming and highly personal, it is among the best works of his highly celebrated oeuvre
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Item No. 30-8791
$298,500
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Julian Alden Weir
1852-1919 | American

Dorothy

Oil on canvas

One of the primary figures in the American Impressionism movement, Julian Alden Weir is counted among the great American artists of the turn of the century. The present oil on canvas is exemplary of his output, bringing together an impressionist devotion to light and color with a modern subject matter. Executed at the height of his career and the full maturation of his impressionist style, the charming work is a masterpiece that is also highly personal, as it captures his three-year-old daughter Dorothy in the garden.

Entitled Dorothy, the oil on canvas is highly modern in its composition. Weir crops the composition to focus up close on the small figure of his daughter, who is placed off-center toward the right side of the canvas and whose flattened figure is represented by loose cross-hatchings of gray and blue color. The cropped image of the bed behind her, painted as a subtly varying region of near-uniform color, recedes along a sharp diagonal. Dorothy’s face, however, is painted sensitively and with careful shading and modeling. As a whole, the charming portrait is an outstanding example of Weir’s work of the mid-1890s, when his style was at its most daring and modern.

Born in 1893, Weir’s career spanned more than 50 years, from the end of the Civil War to the end of World War I. During that time, he was a central figure in art circles, helping to found new institutions and joining with others to advance artists’ opportunities. His early training began at the National Academy of Design in New York, and he later left for Paris in 1873 to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. He entered the studio of the great Academic Jean-Léon Gérôme, and eventually fell under the influence of the naturalist style of Bastien-Lepage and his followers. Weir returned to New York in 1877, and by the 1880s, he moved away from naturalism towards the new, modern impressionist style. He became one of the founding members of The Ten along with Childe Hassam, John Henry Twatchman and others in 1897, exhibiting with the group for twenty years and enjoying significant success in America. Today, his works can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Phillips Collection (Washington D.C.), the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington D.C.) and others.

Painted in 1893

Canvas: 33 1/4" high x 23 1/4" wide
Frame: 42 3/4" high x 33 3/16" wide

References:
J. Alden Weir: An Appreciation of His Life and Works, New York, 1921, The Century Club, p. 131

Provenance:
Dorothy Weir Young
thence by descent until 1983
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York
Private collection
M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans, 2018
specifications
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:America
Subject:Children
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