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"Cow in a Landscape" | John Carleton Wiggins

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American, 1848-1932

A Young Cow in a Landscape

Oil on canvas | Signed "Carleton Wiggins" lower left

Item # 103OQP25H 

The use of light in this image is particularly interesting, the young cow rendered with an unnaturally direct light situated over the beast with harsh and short shadows reminiscent of a close light. It almost captures in a manner similar to a studio rendering with a strong overhead light. Wiggins' ability to manipulate light to create an unusual perspective set his bucolic pastoral landscapes apart from contemporaries of similar Barbizon influences. The present landscape highlights his complex layering of pigments in a more organic development of the foliage, the medium impasto of his brushstrokes showing just a hint of controlled chaos in a way that is evocative without replicating nature.

Read about the life of John Carleton Wiggins here.

Artist Listings & Bibliography:

  • "E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. XIV", Grund, 2006, p. 890
  • "Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers", Glenn Opitz, p. 1008

Measurements: 12 1/8" H x 16 1/8" W [canvas]; 17 7/8" H x 21 7/8" W [frame]

Condition Report:
Unlined and remaining on original stretchers; professionally conserved with surface cleaned, varnish removed and replaced with fresh Damar varnish. Under UV examination, left of cow's hip in sky with two tiny specks of inpainting, some flaring in cow's face. Gesso stable with light surface craquelure throughout. A very fine presentation. Contemporary frame, no flaws.