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Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 25,000
CHARLES ETHAN PORTER (1847 - 1923) Sunflowers.
Oil on linen canvas, circa 1880s. 762x305 mm; 30x12 inches. Signed in oil, upper right.
Provenance: private collection, North Carolina.
Sunflowers is a dramatic and striking painting by Charles Ethan Porter likely made shortly after his brief, but important, Paris period. In 1881, Porter moved to Paris for approximately two years, where he enrolled at the École Nationale Superiéure des Arts Décoratifs before studying at the Académie Julian, like many American painters. While he unsuccessfully attempted to show his work at the Salon, his still life paintings were infused with a realism greatly influenced by Henri Fantin-Latour and by his experimentation with plein air painting.
This canvas is closely related to another Porter painting of this subject, Sunflowers, early 1880s, oil on board, in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Both paintings are tightly cropped, vertical studies of expressive brushwork against a dark background. Porter painted one other known sunflower the watercolor, Still Life with Corn, circa 1885, with similarly abstract, elongated forms and compressed space in its composition. Cummings cat. 35, p. 82.