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The Thundershower by H. Lyman Saÿen / American Art
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The Thundershower

ca. 1917-1918 H. Lyman Saÿen Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1875 Died: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1918 tempera on wood 36 x 46 in. (91.4 x 116.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of H. Lyman Sayen to his nation 1967.6.19 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, North Wing



Gallery Label

Saÿen studied with Matisse in Paris and was among the first to bring modern art into Philadelphia's conservative culture. He created The Thundershower from a mix of European modernism and Native American decorative patterns. But this painting is not just "cross-cultural." It also marks a transition from an older world to a new and dynamic century. The two figures move through time and space like the frames of a filmstrip, and organic forms meld with angles and arcs of pure color. Before he began to paint, Saÿen was an electrical engineer who held patents for radiological instruments. He died on the threshold of the Machine Age, shortly after completing this work, and The Thundershower suggests an artist who was already engaged in a new way of seeing.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006

Keywords

Abstract

Allegory - other - nature

Figure female

Landscape - weather - shower

painting

paint - tempera

wood

About H. Lyman Saÿen

Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1875 Died: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1918

More works in the collection by
H. Lyman Saÿen