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Tree Study

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Tree Study

Artist: Homer Dodge Martin (American, 1836 - 1897)

Date: 1862
Medium: Graphite on paper
Overall: 10 x 12 3/8in. (25.4 x 31.4cm)
Inscribed: Recto, in upper left corner: "(2)"
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 2004.20
Label Text
Martin was a landscape painter whose style evolved during his career as a result of changing personal circumstances and the evolution of American taste which, at the end of the century, favored broader, more tonal or impressionistic compositions. The style, subject matter, date and function of this study of a fallen tree defines it as an excellent example of the early, Hudson River School phase of his career. Working out of doors in front of the motif, Martin used the precise, meticulous drawing style that was employed by many of America's mid-century landscape artists. He then copied the subject into the foreground of a more elaborately constructed landscape drawing of approximately the same dimensions (The Art Museum, Princeton University). The Princeton sheet, in turn, served as the source for an autumnal landscape painting, "Storm King on the Hudson", executed in 1862, in the collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art. The Utica and Princeton drawings were both owned at one time by Martin's friend, James Stillman, Sr., a banker and fellow member of the New York's Century Association, an organization that had many Hudson River School artists in its membership.

Paul D. Schweizer
February 2006

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