GEORGE INNESS (1825–1894)
Late Afternoon, about 1882–86
Oil on canvas, laid down on millboard, 14 7/8 x 12 1/8 in.
Signed lower right: G. Inness
EXHIBITED: The Lotos Club, New York, March 29–31, 1902, Exhibition of Paintings from the Collection of Mr. Emerson McMillin, no. 19 // Henry Reinhardt Galleries, Chicago, 1911, An Exhibition of Eighteen Pictures by the American Master of Landscape Painting, the late George Inness, N.A., no. 13 illus. // New York School of Applied Design for Women, New York, April 6–May 6, 1912, Exhibition of Thirty-Eight Paintings by the Late George Inness, N.A., illus. facing p. 6
RECORDED: Elliott Daingerfield, “A Wonderful Collection of Innesses,” Arts and Decoration 1 (April 1911), p. 257 illus. // James William Pattison, “Gift of Eighteen Paintings by George Inness to the Art Institute, Chicago,” Fine Arts Journal (Chicago) 24 (April 1911), p. 216 illus. // Elliott Daingerfield, “Inness, Genius of American Art,” The Cosmopolitan 55 (September 1913), p. 521 illus. // The Index of Twentieth Century Artists 4 (December 1936), p. 361 // Leroy Ireland, Works of George Inness (1965), p. 51 no. 205 illus. // Michael Quick, George Inness: A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 2 (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2007), p. 96 no. 762 illus.
EX COLL.: Thomas McGuiness, Philadelphia; to sale, John Fell O’Brien, Auctioneer, at the Waldorf-Astoria, New York, February 5, 1902, no. 27; Emerson McMillin, New York, New York, until 1911; to. [M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1911]; [Henry Reinhardt Galleries, Chicago, 1911]; to Edward Burgess Butler, Chicago, 1911; to his estate; to sale, Sotheby’s New York, June 6, 1997, no. 220; to [Debra Force Fine Art, New York]; to private collection, Pennsylvania, 1999 until the present
Late Afternoon is characteristic of Inness’s smaller format landscapes. A tall tree in the left foreground extends to the sky beyond the canvas, while a pair of trees is present in the right foreground of the canvas. The middle ground is comprised of a grassy field with two saplings, and a number of evergreens extending into the distance. A cloudy sky with a small patch of blue can be seen through the trees’ branches. This painting may have served as the compositional framework for Harvest Moon, 1886 (oil on canvas, 40 x 29 3/4 in., private collection). Both paintings have a similar patterning of branches and foliage with precise outlining and details. However, the layering of the paint and fine detailing in Late Afternoon indicate that Inness held this work in the same regard as his formal paintings, even though he probably used it as a study for the larger Harvest Moon.