Jelly, jelly so fine

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Hanson Puthuff painting of a woman holding a flower

I received two great paintings in the mail today.

One was a wonderful early painting by Richard Wengenroth (1928-2022) from 1951, Calligraphic I

I had coveted this particular painting for over a year. 

I am happy to be now working with his estate.

The other painting is a work by one of the titans of California and western art, Hanson Puthuff (1875-1972).

Puthuff was known for his bold and confident brushwork and superb rendering skills.

Born in Waverly, Missouri, he initially went to school at the Art institute of Chicago in 1899. After four years of study, the young artist moved to learn at the University of Denver in 1893 before continuing his studies at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. 

Puthuff eventually immigrated to Los Angeles in 1903 where he became venerated for his paintings of the rolling Southern California hillsides and other views of the southwest. He won a very important commission from the Santa Fe railroad for a series of views of the Grand Canyon.

He won many awards including a Diploma from the Alaska-Yukon Exposition in 1892 and Silver Medals at the Panama-California Exposition in 1915.  He was a member of numerous clubs, including the California Art Club (which he helped found), the Laguna Beach Art Association, the Los Angeles Watercolor Society, the Pasadena Society of Artists, the Salmagundi Club of New York, the San Francisco Art Association, and the Southern States Art League.

I received this canvas about six weeks ago. It had been found forgotten in a basement in Colorado. It is a beautiful seated full profile of a woman holding a flower. Impressionistic, not overworked in the least.

The canvas was billowing and dirty but honestly the piece was in remarkable shape.

I sent it to my restorer and had it cleaned, stretched and keyed but there is little if any restoration on the image itself.

I love beautiful paintings like this. 

I should think it would fit comfortably in any museum. Or home.

It reminds me a bit of Sargent, Garber or Hassam.

So soft and lovely.

I believe that it was painted somewhere between 1893 and 1898, during his second stint in Denver, where it was found in its quiet repose.

It is rare to find any works by Puthuff but super difficult if not impossible to find figurative works with this kind of beauty and acumen from his academic period. 

You can find hundreds of Puthuff paintings of trees, mountains, deserts and shorelines, finding a painting of the human figure executed in such a gorgeous way is far more difficult.

I could not be more pleased with the restoration and suppose that I should buy a new frame for it although I might just as soon leave that to the purchaser.

Please feel free to call the gallery and stop by and have a look if you have the time.

1 comment:

Scrota said...

You left out Puthuff's dioramas at the Museum of Natural History at Exposition Park
next to the Colisseum. Neanderthals cooking pots of mastodon innards wouldn't be the same without 'em.

Barney Rubble