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Ohio River Landscape / The Steamboat Washington / The Kilgour Residence | by Christopher Busta-Peck
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Ohio River Landscape / The Steamboat Washington / The Kilgour Residence

An oil painting (circa 1820).

 

19 3/4 x 28 1/2 in.

 

Used courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Schwartz, Paterson, NJ (as of 1987).

 

Reproduced from Folk Painters of America (1979) by Robert Bishop.

 

This painting illustrates the Kilgour house, in Cincinnati, and the steamboat George Washington. I detail the location in Cincinnati in the 1820s - Identifying the Location Depicted in "Ohio River Landscape".

  

The painting was also illustrated in Ohio River Odyssey (1987) a catalog of an exhibition at the Huntington Museum of Art, by Beth Hager.

 

The painting was illustrated, in black and white, in American Landscape Painting: An Interpretation (1948) by Wolfgang Born. At the time, the title was listed as "The Washington" - First Double Decker on the Mississippi, and it was in the collection of the Harry Stone Gallery, New York City.

 

Born notes "A picture of a country seat in Cincinnati with the steamboat The Washington on the Ohio River probably was painted before 1820. The Washington, which was built in 1816 as the first double-decker to sail the Mississippi, blew up the next year. Evidently it was the novelty of the vessel that prompted the artist to depict it as conspicuously as he did. Besides, the style of the building was the chief motif of the picture was of the beginning of the century; it was probably rather new when it was"portrayed." The geometric pattern of the fence, the decorative treatment of the foliage in the right foreground and other elements of the composition are strikingly archaic. One finds such traces in late Gothic tapestries."

 

The Frick Art Database lists the artist as "G.M. Lee". I wonder if this may, perhaps, be a typo for S.M. Lee (Samuel M. Lee).

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Taken on January 1, 1820