Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait
Solitude, Eagle Bay, Adirondacks, NY, 1883
Signed A. F. Tait. NA. and dated N.Y. 83 (lr); inscribed as titled on the backing
Oil on canvas
20 x 30 inches
Kennedy Galleries, New York; inv. A12862
Herbert Shuttleworth, Amsterdam, NY
Thence by descent to the present owner
Considered one of America's finest animal painters, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait made his first trip to the Adirondacks in 1852. An enthusiastic sportsman, outdoorsman and amateur naturalist, he was inspired by the rustic terrain of the Adirondacks well into the later years of his life, spending many summers painting and sketching there. He built a summer camp on South Pond near Long Lake, eventually establishing a year-round home there named Woodside. While Tait lived much of the time in the Adirondacks, he also maintained a studio in New York City and spent his last years in Yonkers, NY. He painted in and around Upper and Lower Chateaugay Lakes in the northern Adirondacks by 1852 and around Raquette Lake in Hamilton County by the early 1870s. Just north of Old Forge in Herkimer County, NY, Eagle Bay is roughly thirty-five miles from South Pond.
The panoramic view in the present work captures the majesty of the Adirondack region that so appealed to the artist. Perhaps pausing to drink in the pristine water, the three deer are rendered with the sensitivity characteristic of Tait's paintings of wildlife. "America owes a heavy debt of gratitude to A. F. Tait," wrote the editor of Antiques in 1933, "Though born an Englishman, he had lived in this country long enough, and loved it deeply enough, to record pictorially distinctive aspects of its life with penetrating sympathy and undeviating accuracy of detail."
Additional Notes & Condition Report
1. Remove grime layer and discolored varnish from painting.
2. Apply new varnish of BEVA varnish (Regalrez resin with U V stabilizer).
3. Retouch as necessary with resin colors (Maimeri).
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