Mountain Landscape

(1882-1952)

Size: 27 x 30 1/4 inches (68.6 x 76.8 cm)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Signed lower right: A. Carles
Why We Love It

This work, which was painted during Carles's second trip to France in 1912, is one of his largest and most expressively painted landscapes, and it reveals his bold use of color as well as his extremely loose and gestural brushwork. The subject as well as Carles’s treatment of it is somewhat reminiscent of Cézanne’s groundbreaking series of landscapes of Mont Sainte-Victoire, which he produced in the final decade before his death in 1906. This painting seems to capture the immense joy and freedom that Carles felt in his beloved France, and it is interesting to note that his inspiration for landscape painting did not persist upon his return to Philadelphia. Carles painted very few landscapes in the States, and instead, he only returned to this subject during his brief visits to France throughout the rest of his career.

The Value

Carles’s contribution to the modernist movement in the United States remains vastly under-recognized. As an American in Paris, partaking in the riotous development of modernist ideas, as a strong proponent of Modernism, and as an enormously influential teacher, Arthur Beecher Carles ranks as one of the era’s great artists. Eventually, the art market will reflect that reality. In the interim, Carles’s masterful paintings are significantly less expensive than his compatriots. In our opinion, we will look back on this time as a unique opportunity to acquire an American master at reasonable prices. This work, in particular, is a rare example of Carles’s exploration of the landscape. While retaining essential elements of representational art, it is a beautiful example of American Modernism in its early stages.