Milne Ramsey : At the Naturalist's
Milne Ramsey (At the Naturalist's)

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Artist: Milne Ramsey
Title: At the Naturalist's
Year: 1876
Media: Oil on canvas, 24 x 43 inches
Description: Signed and dated at lower left: “Milne Ramsey/ Paris 3 76”

Exhibited: Paris Salon, 1876, as Chez un naturaliste. “First Annual Exhibition”, Society of American Artists, New York, 1878, as “Bird Fanciers”, “50th Annual Exhibition,” Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1879, no. 37, as “With a Naturalist.”

Milne Ramsey was born in Philadelphia. After serving in the Pennsylvania Militia during the Civil War he entered the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia around 1863 and opened a studio there in 1867. Ramsey went to Paris in 1868 and worked in the atelier of the noted portraitist Léon Bonnat from around 1871 to 1876. In Paris Ramsey exhibited at the Salon and the Société des Artistes Français.  In 1877 he became one of the founders of the Society of American Artists, a group that broke away from the conservative National Academy of Design. Ramsey returned to Philadelphia in 1882 and resumed exhibiting at the Academy until 1903. Although Milne Ramsey painted landscapes and figure compositions, he was best known for his highly realistic still life subjects and trompe l'oeil compositions. He briefly opened a studio in New York, and summered at his seaside home in Atlantic City. Ramsey returned to Philadelphia in 1900 and died there fifteen years later.

Considered lost since its last appearance in a Parke-Bernet auction catalogue in 1943, At the Naturalist’s is an historical costume piece set in seventeenth-century Holland. Such compositions were popular among Parisian academic painters and appealed to wealthy American patrons following the Civil War. The artist’s biographer Willam Gerdts has noted how the “forms are solidly but minutely drawn, great attention is paid not only to detail but to varying poses, ages and anatomy, and all the figures exist in a carefully defined, geometrically squared off space.” Ramsey’s skill in depicting the many objects in this early academic painting presages his future as a still-life specialist.

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Price: Price upon request
Inventory: RS 5997
Category: •a:Philadelphia•animal•bird•genre•interior•male•nineteenth century•a:American•
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