October Afternoon


Julian Onderdonk ( American, 1882 - 1922 )

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General Description

This small autumnal scene was painted when San Antonio-born Julian Onderdonk was working in and around New York City before his eventual return to Texas in 1909. Onderdonk was from a family of painters, and apart from training at home, he studied with William Merritt Chase at the Shinnecock Summer School on Long Island. Chase stressed the importance of studying a place intently and over a period of time. Onderdonk's landscapes demonstrate this method of seriality and variation. This work almost certainly depicts a forest area around Arrochar Park, Staten Island, where Onderdonk and his young family had moved in 1902. While in New York, he produced numerous paintings of similar trees and hills, each carefully recording a season and time of day.

Adapted from

  • William Keyse Rudolph, DMA label text, 2007

  • Emily Schiller, DMA label text