William Henry Buck
"Moored Schooner, Possibly North Shore, Lake Pontchartrain", 1878
oil on canvas
signed and dated lower right, "Morton's Auction" labels en verso.
Period gilt and stenciled framed with cornstalk motif.
12" x 20", framed 19" x 27"
Notes: The demand for portraiture waned after the Civil War, giving way to the emergence of the Louisiana Landscape School led by Richard Clague, an academically trained artist working in the French Barbizon style. The establishment of art galleries and associations provided the landscape artists opportunities to exhibit their paintings to the public and earn a living.
Among Clague's most talented students was William Henry Buck. A native of Norway, Buck emigrated to the northeast in 1865 and studied with landscape artist Ernest Ciceri. Arriving in New Orleans around 1870, Buck worked in a cotton merchant's office and furthered his studies with Clague. To accurately represent and experience the unique topography and waterways of southern Louisiana, Clague led his students on "plein air" painting expeditions.
By 1880, Buck opened his own studio on Carondelet Street specializing in Louisiana landscape paintings. Continuing to make forays into southern Louisiana, Buck became familiar with life in the rural and isolated communities. In this engaging painting, Buck provided a glimpse of life along the north shore in the late 19th century. Surrounded by Spanish-moss-draped live oak trees, lumber has been stacked up by the shore, while a moored sailing boat readies to transport the wood to a mill.