Sargent -- American
I don't know the
history of this
drawing, but get a load of this:
Edwin Austin Abbey
was commissioned to do some murals for the State Capitol at Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania. Before he could finish these, Edwin, in 1911, grew
Sargent, at the
time, was in Munich
when he received word from Edwin's wife. John dropped everything and
at the the bedside of his old friend from Broadway, co-conspirator in
Boston Library murals, in less than two days.
Edwin was dying and
the two friends
knew it. He asked John to help him finish the murals he was working on,
not an easy thing to do finishing another man's work, but without
an eye he agreed and assured his friend that they would be completed
as he envisioned.
Now I haven't seen
these murals but
take a look at an oil study done by Abby around 1904-1908, and tell me
if you don't see the connection.
at an Anvil
for the state capitol at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
following Abbey's death
and at a retrospective exhibition of his work (1912) the critic Robert
Ross of the Morning Post wrote a scathing critique of Abbey's art.
responded at once:
I have noticed, when
another artist's work -- or pencil sketches of his own finished
after the fact, that the diagonal shading he often uses for the
is much more deliberate and precise (giving it a more "finished"
then when he is working conceptually on his own ideas.
My dear Mr.
I am very
glad to see that
you are answering protests on your article about Abbey, because it may
give you the opportunity of
you have chosen this moment to make a one sided attack. Surely in
his life's work at this final exhibition you must recognize his
quality of dramatic insight and invention, his endless variety of
his humour, his pathos and his occasional grimness. You have hurt a
many feelings by an apparent want of feeling at a time when hats are
off. It would be handsome of you as you are still writing on the
to appease his ghost by a mention of his good qualities as well as
that you dislike.
Do you see
no imagination and
beauty in those two decorative designs of the Puritan Ships and the
Going Down into the
It seems to me that
"At the Forge"
is a drawing done after Edwin Austin Abbey. And so the quest is to find
the painting from which this particular pose came from -- maybe even
"Miners Going Down" --
Maybe, just maybe,
in time we'll
Image of Sargent's
in Charteris's book
The date is a guess