On New Year’s Day 2017 we sold a Hudson River School landscape attributed to Sanford Robinson Gifford (Mass./N.Y. 1823-1880), “Mountain Lake”, oil on canvas, 9 1/2″ x 17 1/2″. The painting was unsigned and unreserved and sold for $35,100 (including buyer’s premium).
We received direct info from Carey at Vose Galleries that they had received the painting from a Casenovia N.Y. collection in 1972. The painting was at that time attributed to Casilear. The grandfather and father at Vose reattributed it to Sanford Robinson Gifford and then sold it as a Gifford to the collector we received it from.
Gifford painted numerous major landscapes from scenes he recorded on his travels. Gifford’s method of creating a work of art was similar to other Hudson River School artists. He would first sketch rough, small works in oil paint from his sketchbook pencil drawings. Those scenes he most favored he then developed into small, finished paintings, then into larger, finished paintings. His “chief pictures” are characterized by a hazy atmosphere with soft, suffuse sunlight. Gifford often painted a large body of water in the foreground or middle distance, in which the distant landscape would be gently reflected. (1.)
Gifford Grave discovered in Hudson New York
Local art dealer Peter Jung re-discovered the grave of the important 19th-century American landscape artist Sanford Robinson Gifford while walking with a friend and her dog in Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson, New York. Neglected and untended for decades, the Gifford family plot includes 20 graves. Thanks to Peter Jung, art historian Alexandra Polemis, and art enthusiast Paul Stein and their “Gifford’s Grave” project, the plot and all graves were fully restored in 2011. (2.)
Links / Sources
(1) Sanford Robinson Gifford, The Complete Works
(2) Gifford’s Grave (Hudson, New York)
Sanford Robinson Gifford papers
Smithsonian Archives of American Art