The painting is an expected top lot at Ahlers & Ogletree’s New Year’s Signature Estates Auction
ATLANTA, Ga. – A stunning oil on canvas painting by the renowned Hudson School artist Worthington Whittredge (Am., 1820-1910), titled Campers in the Blue Ridge Mountains, artist-signed lower right, is an expected top lot at Ahlers & Ogletree’s New Year’s Signature Estates Auction, slated for Jan. 14-16 in the firm’s gallery at 715 Miami Circle (Suite 210) in Atlanta.
From a prominent Atlanta private collection, the painting depicts a stony stream surrounded by dense forest, with a group of figures in the background building a small fire in a bright stream-side clearing. It is a classic Hudson River School painting that captures the essence of American Transcendentalism. Measuring 23 inches by 34 inches, it’s expected to bring $40,000-$60,000.
Several relevant documents are available that attest to the work’s impeccable provenance. These include correspondences regarding the painting’s authenticity (and two that pertain to a 1974 restoration effort) from officials at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute (Utica, N.Y.), the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, Ga.), and Berger Art Conservation, Inc. (New York, founded in 1967).
The painting is housed in a likely original press molded and gilt frame, with vintage plaque affixed to the bottom reading, “Worthington Whittredge Campers in the Blue Ridge Mountains.” Works by Whittredge can be seen in institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (N.Y.), the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.), and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Worthington Whittredge was born in a log cabin and raised on a farm near Springfield, Ohio. He painted landscapes and portraits as a young man in Cincinnati before traveling to Europe in 1849 to experience life and further his artistic studies.
Whittredge arrived in Germany and enrolled at the Dusseldorf Academy, a major art school of the period. There, he met and befriended Albert Bierstadt and later Sanford Gifford; both would also go on to become leading Hudson River School painters. He spent nearly ten years in Europe, finally returning to the United States in 1859 and establishing an art studio in New York City.
There, he launched a career as a landscape artist, developing what came to be known as the Hudson River School style, along with Bierstadt, Gifford and other contemporaries. Whittredge’s artwork incorporated the topographical style of the Hudson River School with the use of light and color typical of the French Barbizon School and Impressionisn.
Whittredge also painted in the Great Plains states, but he is best known for his Hudson River School renderings like the one being sold, works that feature the Catskill Mountains in New York, the White Mountains in New Hampshire and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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