JANE PETERSON (1876–1965)
Venice, about 1918–10
Gouache on paper, 17 1/2 x 17 1/2 in.
Signed (at lower left): JANE PETERSON
EX COLL.: Bristol-Myers Squibb, New York
Venice is a beautiful, sun-drenched study of a Venetian canal. Its bright colors and maritime subject reflect Peterson’s apprenticeship with Sorolla and the influence of Brangwyn . Painted in gouache, Venice shows Peterson’s mastery of the variable opacity of gouache, which she first began using as in her paintings in watercolor in the early 1910s. According to J. Jonathan Joseph, whose monograph Jane Peterson: An American Artist (1981) remains the most comprehensive treatment of Peterson to date:
It was at this time that Peterson began using gouache as a finished medium, rather than for sketches. Using water color opaquely freed her from the unreliable wet technique and enabled her to paint directly, in the manner of oil. The fast-drying quality allowed her to complete studies out-of-doors, on the scene, without the subsequent problem of transporting wet oil paintings. The medium was ideally suited to her and she could easily finish five or six paintings in a day (pp. 30–31).