Original Robert S. Duncanson Landscape Painting Up for Bid on Everything But the House
Photo: Everything but the house
Online auction site Everything But the House has a unique item in its Autumn Landmark Collection: an original landscape painting by Robert S. Duncanson, circa 1850-1852.
A Hudson River School artist considered the most accomplished black painter of his time. “Duncanson became a fixture in Cincinnati’s history when Nicholas Longworth hired him to decorate the halls of his Cincinnati ‘Belmont’ estate, which is now the Taft Museum,” says EBTH.
Confirmed by art scholars as being from the same period as the taffeta murals, the painting is in its original Rococo style frame.
“The romantic landscape, perhaps a southern landscape, has a river that meanders through a forest with distant mountains visible in the sky of the lights,” says EBTH. “In the left foreground are three figures next to their camp on a headland jutting out into the river. The painting shows Duncanson’s early (1850s) style with dark red and blue tones, but the artist may have reworked the painting a few years later, as he often did to improve his technique and address American and European trends. “
While the Taft Museum of Art said they can’t comment on the painting or its sale, the museum’s website states the eight different 9-foot-by-6 and a half-foot Duncanson murals of the Taft that are right on top of the Wall plaster are painted. “They are now considered to be the most significant mural paintings in the United States before the Civil War and, after the house itself, are one of the Taft Museum of Art’s greatest artworks.”
EBTH’s unnamed American landscape was acquired by a private collection in 1966, sold by the Carl Solway Gallery to the Middendorf Gallery in 1989, sold to a private collection by the Middendorf Gallery in 1989, and sold to a private collection by the Carl Solway Gallery in 2006.
Robert Duncanson scholar Joseph Ketner and gallery owner Michael Francis Meyer have studied the painting, and Meyer can submit a letter giving his opinion on the buyer’s authenticity.
View items from the Autumn Landmark Sale during a virtual EBTH preview from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 17th at facebook.com/ebthofficial/live.
The sale – which also includes “two oil paintings by Edward Henry Potthast, a hard-to-find Hermès Birkin Orange Clemence leather, an amazing selection of heirloom sterling silver and many other notable pieces” – ends September 20th.
More information is available at ebth.com.