Feb 13, 2014 - Sale 2338

Sale 2338 - Lot 17

Price Realized: $ 7,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000
Untitled (Arab Market Scene).

Oil triptych on board, circa 1912-20. Approximately 560x1067 mm; 22x42 inches total; 22x17 7/8 inches (center panel) and 20x11 inches (left and right panels.) Signed in oil, lower right (right panel).

Provenance: private New York collection.

William Edouard Scott's fascinating painting of a Holy Land or North African scene is the first of its kind to come to auction. Scott was born in Indianapolis, and trained at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1904-09. In Chicago, he became known for his work in mural painting but his celebrated Haitian series of paintings have overshadowed this earlier period of work. After winning several painting scholarships and awards at the Institute, Scott traveled to Paris, where he studied with Henry Ossawa Tanner and enrolled at the Académie Julian.

When he returned in 1912, Scott received many mural commissions, including for the Chicago World's Fair of 1933 and the Federal Art Project of the WPA in Chicago. But the American subjects of his WPA murals like the Wabash YMCA are very different. This painting shows the apparent influence of both his teacher Tanner and the French popular interest in Orientalism that Scott encountered in Paris. The Impressionist brush work, size and scale of the figures and the support also help date the painting to this early phase of his career. Reynolds/Wright p. 255.