Marsden Hartley (American, Lewiston, Maine 1877–1943 Ellsworth, Maine)
Crayon on paper
16 x 12 1/4 in. (40.6 x 31.1 cm)
Purchase, Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Foundation Gift, 1988
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 artist, Ellsworth, Me. (until d. 1943; his estate, 1943–at least 1950; inv. no. 307; to Eva Lee); [Eva Lee Gallery, Great Neck, L.I., until 1964; sold in 1964 to Rosenthal]; Dr. Herbert Rosenthal, New York (from 1964); private collection, New Mexico (until 1988; sold through the Washburn Gallery, New York, to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. "Marsden Hartley's Maine," March 15–June 18, 2017, not in catalogue.
Lisa Mintz Messinger in "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1988–1989." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 47 (Fall 1989), p. 65, ill.