Watercolor on wove paper, circa 1949-51. 578x394 mm; 22 5/8x15 1/2 inches. Signed in watercolor, lower right. Signed, titled and inscribed "watercolor" and "Haiti" in ink on the cardboard back board.
Provenance: private collection, New York; private collection, Ohio.
This attractive watercolor is a scarce example of Eldzier Cortor's painting from his Haitian period. Cortor traveled there first in 1949 on a Guggenheim Fellowship. Then from 1949-51, Cortor was a teacher at Le Centre d'Art, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, an art center, school and gallery founded in 1944 which became the center of what became known as the Haitian Art Movement.
Cortor is best known for his elegant draughtsmanship and depiction of the beauty of Black women. Born in Richmond, Virginia in 1916, his family moved to Chicago where he attended Englewood High School with future artists Charles White and Charles Sebree. He studied drawing at the Art Institute of Chicago, and was a founding member of the Southside Community Art Center where he taught drawing and worked on murals during the Works Progress Administration. A Rosenwald Fellowship in 1944-45 at Sea Islands, Georgia, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1949 in Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti, and teaching at the Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from 1949-51 all increased his awareness of both nature and the African diaspora, which he incorporated in the naturalism of his painting.