PITTSBURGH – A spectacular moonlight landscape by Christian J. Walter is one of many works by regional artists that Concept Art Gallery will be offered at their June 6 auction. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.
Titled Moonlight Nocturne, the oil on canvas measures 33 by 46 inches and depicts a rural landscape under an evening sky in shades ranging from azure to pink. The circa 1920 painting, which carries a $35,000-$45,000 estimate, demonstrates Walter’s mastery of the difficult evening genre and.
Sam Berkovitz of Concept Art Gallery said that Walter’s work is scarce and this painting, which belongs to a local church, has been behind glass for many years and is in nice condition.
A native of the Pittsburgh area, Walter (1872-1938) was a self-taught Impressionist painter working in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. Though he had no formal training, Walter studied art exhibitions that came through Pittsburgh. He was among the artists selected for the first Carnegie International Exhibition in 1896, helped found the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and in 1936 headed the Federal Art Project.
George W. Sotter (1879-1953) is most remembered for his moonlit snow scenes and landscapes with cloud-filled skies. His oil on canvas of a farmhouse landscape, 19 1/2 by 25 1/2 inches, fits in the latter category. It has a $10,000-$20,000 estimate, a modest sum for a major artist of the New Hope (Pa.) School of American Impressionism. The painting is a well-preserved example of the region’s influence on the artist’s impressionistic style.
Sotter began painting rivers and mills in his hometown Pittsburgh as a youth. As a student of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Sotter discovered the beauty of Bucks County. He moved to Holicong, Pa., near New Hope, living in a converted stone barn, which housed his studio.
An ample selection of paintings by French-born George Hetzel (1826-1899), one of Pennsylvania’s leading Realist/Impressionist painters of the 1800s, will be presented at the auction. Hetzel’s family immigrated to America and settled in Pittsburgh, where the young man apprenticed as a sign painter. He later studied two years at the Dusseldorf Art Academy. Returning to Pittsburgh in 1850, Hetzel painted precise portraits in what was known as the Dusseldorf style. In the late 1850s he joined a group of local painters at a mountain retreat called Scalp Level. There he painted realistic landscapes and bucolic scenes. Later in his career he changed direction, toward impressionistic concerns.
Hetzel’s oil on canvas painting Covered Bridge and Creek measures 35 3/4 by 26 3/4 inches and carries a $10,000-$20,000 estimate. His Forest Interior, 19 by 23 inches, which further demonstrates his Realist style, has a $10,000-$16,000 estimate.
A rare landscape by Pittsburgh artist John Beatty (1850-1924) will also be offered. The 26-by-36 oil on canvas has a $5,500-$8,500 estimate. Beatty was the first director of the Carnegie Museum of Art.
Other art highlights are an early portrait by Samuel Rosenberg and an Eduardo Cortes street scene.
Among the antiques to be sold is a horn chair from the collection of local designer Garth Massengill.
Previews are from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. June 3, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. June 4, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 5. The June 6 auction starts at 10 a.m. at Concept Art Gallery, 1031 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square, in Pittsburgh. For detail phone 412-242-9200.
View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE