Posts Tagged ‘John Sloan New York’

The Gramercy mansion in a John Sloan painting

July 24, 2017

He often came across subjects for his work near Washington Square, or Union or Madison Squares.

But in 1912, after moving from Sixth Avenue to 155 East 22nd Street, John Sloan trained his outsider’s eye on Gramercy Park (fellow social realist painter George Bellows’ territory), where he painted two women tending to a baby in a carriage on a warm, lush day.

Sloan “found his subjects in his immediate surroundings; the streets he traveled and the people he encountered were immediately translated to canvas,” wrote Margarita Karasoulas on Questroyal.com.

“He typically captured New Yorkers going about their routines from the perspective of an outside observer, painting intimate scenes with a window-like viewpoint in order to focus closely and observe the subject undetected.”

I’m curious about the red brick townhouse to the right of the park. This is 1912, and it certainly could have been torn down.

But I wonder if Sloan is giving us a look at the Stuyvesant Fish House at 19 Gramercy Park South.

Built in 1845 for a Whig politician, it was expanded and redone in the 1880s for Old New York scion and railroad magnate Stuyvesant Fish and his party-loving society hostess wife, Mamie.

Sloan’s depiction doesn’t look exactly like the house, seen here in 2010. Artistic license, perhaps?

[Photo: Wikipedia]

“Unconscious grace” on a rooftop in Chelsea

August 19, 2013

Lines of laundry, a pigeon coop, a sunbather? It’s a very different neighborhood today than the one depicted in John Sloan’s A Roof in Chelsea, New York, painted in the 1940s.

“This is one of Sloan’s last renderings of the domestic city life he so loved to observe,” states this writeup from the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College. “He worked on the painting at intervals beginning in 1941.”

Johnsloanchelsearoof

“Sloan was particularly drawn to the subject of women hanging out laundry on rooftops. He described his persistent attraction to this theme as ‘an urge to record my strong emotional response to the city woman, any woman running up colors of a fresh clean wash. Sun, wind, . . . blowing hair, unconscious grace give me great joy.’”

Here’s another Sloan painting of women, hair, and laundry—this time on a Cornelia Street roof.

“Full of light, movement, and brilliant color, this ebullient image stands in sharp contrast to some of Sloan’s more introspective works and the strident political illustrations he created earlier in his career.”

Walking through rainy Union Square in 1912

March 21, 2013

Looking at John’s Sloan’s foreboding “Spring Rain” makes me feel as if I’m right behind this woman as she walks the slick pavement of an almost empty city park.

Johnsloanspringrain

That’s exactly the point. “In his 1912 painting Spring Rain, he placed the viewer on a wet path in Union Square by filling the lower edge of the picture—the front edge of the picture plane—with rain-soaked pavement,” writes Nancy Mowll Mathews in Moving Pictures.

“Then Sloan moved the journey diagonally up through the painting as the path recedes into the space of the park. We too seem to be standing on the walkway watching the back of a young lady as she moves though the park. Through the artist’s hand the viewer experiences what it is like to cross the empty park in the mist of a spring rain.”

Red stockings: a fad at the time?