Are you ready for winter which is certainly a welcome relief from the heat and humidity we have experienced during these last summer months…whew!…..then this next cool and tranquil offering may be of interest to you! This beautiful, winter landscape scene painting done in oil on academy board dates from the late 1800’s to the early part of the 20th century and is really magnificent! I purchased this piece because of the very unusual “well sweep” feature that I have not seen in any other paintings to date.
I would like to share some history with you regarding this ingenuous device:
“A well sweep was utilized to draw water from a well without ropes or pulleys. It appeared throughout North Carolina on nineteenth-century farms and plantations; both subsistence farmers and their wealthier neighbors used them. The only materials needed to construct a well sweep were wooden poles, which could be obtained locally. A vertical post was mounted by the well hole. The post held a horizontal pole, or sweep, which was heavier at one end and rested on the ground. A long, thin pole with an attached bucket or pail was placed at the other end. A person would pull the thin pole and bucket down into the well and fill it with water, and the sweep's weight would then lift the bucket up. The well sweep came to be replaced by pulleys and cranks and eventually by mechanical pumps. Although photographic evidence exists of a few still in use during the early years of the twentieth century, well sweeps were uncommon by mid-century.”
The last image depicts a well sweep in an 1881 drawing showing a women pouring water from a bucket suspended from this sweep.
I am uncertain if this painting is American or Continental and the artists name is not present but could appear underneath the frame. A dilemma for sure but then one has to go by the inference of the subject matter as well as the frame and backing so the dates referenced above are my best determination.
The scene is just magical as there are tiny, clear, glitter sparkles that catch the light and reflect off the snow (ground area) for a creative and unique effect. These sparkles are hard to see as the light cast has to be just right but they are there! Absolutely enchanting! The cottage, i.e. farmhouse and outbuilding (may have Swiss influence) flanked by barren snow kissed trees that evoke a peaceful setting on a cold winters day. An icy pond in front of the painting adds interest with several logs off to the right. Beyond the cottage is a quiet field that seems to deserve a respite from the busy harvest season with one lone tree off in the distance. I would really like to jump right in…head first if you please!
This painting is considered realism and is very well done as the composition is just right rendering balance, interesting elements and excellent color values! The condition of this painting in great! The walnut period frame with an accented gold guilt pin stripe is such a delight featuring mitered corners. The gold does have age related oxidation as shown in images 6 & 7. There is also a sliver of wood missing from the top, back corner as referenced in image 14. Consistent light wear to the wood is present but overall the condition is very good! Enjoy!
Painting measures 15” across (right to left) by 12” Tall and is 1” deep. Sight measures 12” across and 8 ½” tall.