Untitled (cattle near river with sailboat in distance)

Media - 1983.95.98 - SAAM-1983.95.98_1 - 48923
Copied Edward Mitchell Bannister, Untitled (cattle near river with sailboat in distance), n.d., oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of H. Alan and Melvin Frank, 1983.95.98
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Artwork Details

Untitled (cattle near river with sailboat in distance)
Not on view
14 1820 18 in. (36.051.0 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of H. Alan and Melvin Frank
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Animal — goat
  • Landscape — farm
Object Number

Artwork Description

Edward Mitchell Bannister was greatly influenced by the French Barbizon school, whose serene depiction of nature and idealized pastoral subjects appealed to his belief in the underlying harmony of all creation. Bannister preferred painting the play of light and the effects of weather on the natural world, often using muted colors and soft depictions of light and shadow. In this untitled work, the dark cluster of trees contrasts with the light-colored clouds, the cows with the bright flock of sheep and river. But within Bannister’s balanced, harmonious composition the lively brushstrokes of the leaves suggest a restless breeze that animates the overcast scene.
Luce Object Quote
"Very few persons trouble themselves about […] reading the great three-leaved book of nature—of land, and sky, and water—as the artist reads it, reverently and lovingly, noting all the varying moods of the elements."  The artist, quoted in "The Artist and His Critics," The Ann-Eliza Club, Providence, RI. April 15, 1886