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52 of 9,186

Winckworth Allan Gay

(American, 1821–1910)

A Japanese Fancy

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Object Details

Artist

Winckworth Allan Gay

Date

1868

Medium

Oil on canvas in original frame

Dimensions

Oval canvas: 23 3/4 × 19 inches (60.3 × 48.3 cm)
Frame: 31 3/4 × 28 inches (80.6 × 71.1 cm)

Credit Line

Acquired through the Evalyn Milman, Class of 1960, and Stephen Milman, Class of 1958, MBA 1959, Fund

Object
Number

2015.019

Allan Gay, as he called himself, studied in Paris with the Barbizon painter Constant Troyon, returni(…)

Allan Gay, as he called himself, studied in Paris with the Barbizon painter Constant Troyon, returning to the United States in 1851, and for the next twenty years he painted New England landscapes in a Barbizon style. A Japanese Fancy, a still life created during this period, is an anomaly within his oeuvre. Most likely he would have been aware of the growing interest in Japanese art and artifacts that was seeping into Boston but it wasn’t until almost a decade later that he traveled to Japan himself—the first American painter to set up residency there. He admired the landscape and painted it much as he had New England, writing to his brother, “Japan is a lovely country. . . . Its trees are magnificent, its mountains graceful and lovely in outline, its broad valleys full of cultivation . . . No people love nature as much as the Japanese do.” (“JapanAmerica: Points of Contact, 1876–1970,” curated by Nancy E. Green and presented at the Johnson Museum August 27–December 18, 2016)

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