"HERDING SHEEP IN THE SNOW" BY FRANCIS WHEATON (AMERICAN, 1849-1942)
Executed in oil on canvas, signed lower left "Francis Wheaton"
Item # 104XPH21L
A very fine atmospheric work that showcases Wheaton's ability to convey romance and nostalgia in the cold swirls of billowing snow. The trees are bending in the distance under the pressure of the wind, the herd of sheep are triangulated into a tight formation and disappearing into the void of the barn. The structures are rural with thatched roofs thick with snow, some having blown away to reveal the golden reeds beneath. With a thick coat and a ruby red hat under wisps of snow, the shepherd is the focal point of the scene. The figure and front half of the sheep standing beside him are in crisp focus while the rest of the scene disappears into bokeh, forcing them to the forefront of the scene.
Executed in oil on canvas, this exemplary study is signed in Wheaton's typical hand lower left. It is a wonderful selection, a window to a long lost historical moment and a picture of a simpler time.
FRANCIS WHEATON (AMERICAN, 1849-1942)
Born in Valparaiso, Chili, Francis Wheaton studied at the National Academy Design School and the Art Institute of Chicago; he was a member of the Copley Society of Boston and Salons of America. Well regarded for his rural genre landscape paintings, Wheaton developed an emphasis on snow scenes and specialized in sheep and farm animal paintings. He was a regular exhibitor at the Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Art Club, National Academy of Design, Salons of America and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Measurements: 20 1/8" H x 30 1/8" W [canvas]; 25" H x 35" W x 2 1/2" D [frame]
Faint stretcher impression along top of canvas; light surface craquelure throughout; light discoloration along the lowest edge of the canvas; canvas would benefit from being cleaned eventually, but presently it remains a vibrant and fine presentation. Under UV examination, scattered touch-ups to the craquelure throughout, most dominant in the 2" border around the edges in the upper half of the painting; left-hand side with some inpainting to craquelure extending from the upper edge through the hay cart; three lines of inpainting to craquelure near signature lower left; spiderweb craquelure above the sheep with thin touchups to craquelure together with the sheep; faint inpainting to the craquelure in the thatched-roof hay shed on the right; housed in a later frame with minor flaws, scuffs and abrasions.