The Cloisters

Marsden Hartley American

Not on view

The deliberate crudeness and iconic appearance of Hartley’s late figure paintings derive in part from his appreciation of medieval art. This drawing commemorates a trip to The Cloisters, the branch of The Met in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park devoted to art of the Middle Ages. The picture likely dates to a 1940 visit with Isabel Lachaise, widow of American sculptor Gaston Lachaise. In a letter he wrote (but never sent) to her, Hartley recollected their admiring together a large Spanish Crucifixion. The painter described it as "that amazing twelfth century one which is like no other in my reminiscence since it gives the air of a thinking person assailed."

The Cloisters, Marsden Hartley (American, Lewiston, Maine 1877–1943 Ellsworth, Maine), Crayon on paper

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