John Mccrady (american/Mississippi, 1911-1968)
John McCrady (American/Mississippi, 1911-1968), "Three Ages of Man", 1939, oil over tempera on panel, unfinished landscape en verso, signed lower left, title label with date en verso, 11 3/4 in. x 17 in., frame hand-painted by the artist Provenance: Given by the artist to his friend, photographer Duane Mortenson (of Wolbrette and Mortenson, 253 Chartres Street, New Orleans); thence by descent. Mortenson took the photograph of McCrady used in the frontispiece of the catalogue John McCrady 1911-1968. New Orleans Museum of Art, 1975. Note: John McCrady created this recently discovered painting, "Three Ages of Man", in 1939, the same year he completed "Oxford on the Hill", his last work for the Federal Art Project. During this time, McCrady received great critical accclaim and experienced commercial success for these important American Scene works. Like his other Mississippi panoramas of this period, "Three Ages of Man" has alluvial rippled hills and undulating clouds that conjure images of angels and spirits. In the foreground, an infant is bathed in bright light on the edge of a bluff. In the right middle ground, a couple stand with their backs to the viewer, in the shadow of a dark cloud looking into an unknown future. An elderly bearded man is seated on the ground and seemingly reflects upon the attenuated tree of life, the red drapery and the infant.