Theodore Wendel (American/Ohio, 1859-1932), "View of Venice along the Rio Nuovo Canal", oil on canvas, signed lower right, 21 in. x 24 in., framed. Note: Theodore Wendel was one of the most successful and respected Impressionist landscape painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A native of Ohio, Wendel studied with Thomas Noble at the McMicken School of Art at the University of Cincinnati. He traveled to Munich, Germany in 1878 with his good friend Joseph DeCamp to study with Frank Duveneck at the Munich Academy. Wendel and his friends became known as the "Duveneck Boys," and the group included such noted artists as William Merritt Chase, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and John Henry Twachtman. From 1878 to 1880, they painted landscapes and figural paintings in Polling outside Munich, as well as in Florence and Venice. Most of Wendel's paintings from this period are unlocated, making examples like the current lot very rare. The view offered here depicts the Rio Nuovo canal in Venice. Using soft shades of rose, pale blue and green, Wendel's gestural brushwork produced an early work of Impressionism by an American artist.
Later in 1887-88, Wendel studied in France and became good friends with Claude Monet. He was one of the few American artists whose work Monet chose to praise. Wendel's career was curtailed by illness in 1917 and despite being one of the most important American Impressionists, his reputation gradually faded, and he fell into obscurity. His work was all but forgotten until John I. Bauer organized an exhibition of his paintings in 1976 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, reelevating his career status to its original importance.