Feb 19, 2008 - Sale 2136

Sale 2136 - Lot 20

Price Realized: $ 40,800
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 30,000 - $ 50,000
AARON DOUGLAS (1899 - 1979)
Untitled (Seated Man With Head Resting).

Oil on canvas, circa 1935. 458x381 mm; 18x15 inches. Signed in oil, upper left. Re-lined.

Provenance: private collection, West Palm Beach, FL; private collection, Boca Raton, FL.

A great example of the artist's figurative easel painting from the mid-1930s in New York. Douglas was painting Impressionist portraits and landscapes when not working on his more celebrated mural and illustration projects. Though they were often exhibited by the artist during his lifetime, these paintings have been overlooked in comparison to the attention his other work attracted. Seated Man reflects an introspective side of the artist with its painterliness and studied observation.

The date of this work is based upon the closeness of the style, signature and cool palette to the oil painting Window Cleaning dated 1935, especially its yellow highlights. Window Cleaning shows a young man at the window of the artist's Harlem apartment at 409 Edgecombe Avenue and 155th Street in the same warm light. His later portraits from the 1940s have generally earthier tones and a darker palette - see Boy with Toy Plane and Portrait of Marian Anderson. Earle pp 38-9 and 178-79.