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Spring Selection; March 2006
 
 

 
Thomas Pollock Anshutz
(American, 1851–1912)
Beached Sailboat

[landscape on verso]
Watercolor on paper, 19 × 13 3/8 inches
Inscribed on verso at lower left: “By Thomas P. Anshutz, ANA 1894/Edward R. Anshutz, Artist’s Son.”

In 1892 the forty-one-year-old Thomas Anshutz, who had established himself as a highly regarded teacher and artist, took the unusual step of resigning his position at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and traveling to Paris to study art. There he enrolled at the Academie Julian and spent the next year studying under two very different artists, the conservative Adolphe William Bouguereau (1825–1905) and the more progressive Lucien Doucet (1856–1895). During this time Anshutz also familiarized himself with modern movements such as Impressionism, and by the time he returned to the United States in 1893 his style had changed considerably. He began to paint a large number of innovative watercolors in which he sought to capture the ephemeral effects of light and atmosphere. Many of these sun drenched idyllic views, such as this very representative example, depicted seaside or river scenes from Cape May, New Jersey. Here the boat’s pronounced geometry indicates that Anshutz did not allow his new interest in impressionism to interfere with his longstanding objective of capturing what he called the “architecture” or “construction” of a subject.


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