Important American and European Paintings — June 12, 2012 Auction Results

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Lot 44

44: Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926)
44: Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926)
44: Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926)
44: Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926)
44: Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926)

Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926)

Charles Marion Russell (American, 1864-1926)

Wood Nymph with Rabbit

Unsigned
Oil on canvas

Byron Price (Director, Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of the American West, University of Oklahoma) has authenticated this painting.
9 x 5 1/4 inches

Provenance: Trails End Gallery, Pasadena, California;
The Hammer Brothers, New York, New York by 1957
To Private Collection, circa 1972

Exhibitions: Los Angeles, California, Department of Municipal Art, August 29- September 13, 1957; San Francisco California palace of the Legion of Honor (September ’57); Fine Art Gallery, October 1-12, 1957; Great Falls Montana, The C.M. Russell Foundation, Inc., Oct 14-26, 1957, catalogue number 77
Calgary Allied Art Council

The Historical Society of Montana label verso

Estimate: $15,000-25,000

Property from a Private Collection

Other Notes: We are grateful to Byron Price, Director, Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of the American West, University of Oklahoma for preparing the following essay:

Although best known for his vibrant paintings and sculptures of cowboys, Indians and other figures from the Old West, Charles M. Russell’s oeuvre included a much broader cast of characters, some drawn from his travels, others from literature and still others from his own active imagination. Over the years, for example, he sketched, painted and modeled a bevy of mythical characters including nymphs and sprites, mostly for his own amusement and as a change of pace from his better known western subjects. Russell’s inspiration for some of these figures undoubtedly came from the canvases of his favorite artist, Maxfield Parrish.

The Montana artist probably painted the small oil titled, Nymph, sometime after 1916, the year he and his wife Nancy adopted their son Jack. Said to have hung in the boy’s room, this unsigned work reflects the superb draftsmanship, mature brushwork and celebration of color that characterized Russell’s painting at the height of his aesthetic powers. The subject not only represents a childhood fantasy but also the echoes the artist’s unending love of nature, its creatures and its mysteries.

B. Byron Price