Clarence Millet (American/New Orleans, 1897-1959), "The Shadow", oil on canvas, signed lower left, "National Academy of Design 1957 Annual Exhibition" label with title en verso, 36 in. x 30 in., framed. Note: Known for popularizing the Impressionist style of painting within the New Orleans art community, Clarence Millet has long been acknowledged as one of the most important and influential painters working in the city in the early and mid-twentieth century. Millet frequently exhibited both in New York and New Orleans. The current lot, which depicts the courtyard of Millet's studio building, the Governor Claiborne House at 628 Toulouse Street, includes a label en verso detailing the inclusion of this painting in the 1957 Annual Exhibition at the National Academy of Design, where Millet was a member.
Millet's studio space at 628 Toulouse Street, where fellow artist Alberta Kinsey also rented, had once been the residence of W.C.C. Claiborne, Governor of Louisiana from 1812-1816; the historic building has a beautiful courtyard that has been painted and photographed by artists for many decades. Millet admired the beauty of the space, and he sketched and painted the scene throughout day to capture the variations in the light, another Impressionist practice. "The Shadow" depicts an evening view of the courtyard from above, including dramatic lights and darks within the composition. The streetlight from the right side of the canvas adds a secondary light source to the moonlight, causing the long, sharp shadow, for which the painting is titled, of a person entering the courtyard.