Mountains, no. 19
Marsden Hartley ( American, 1877 - 1943 )
Moving from Europe to New Hampshire in 1930, Marsden Hartley turned to the White Mountains for inspiration, marrying the lush New England colors he remembered from his Maine childhood with the faceted forms of Paul Cézanne, whose paintings and home base of Aix-en-Provence had been his focus of study for the previous half-decade. Hartley's initial high hopes were eventually dashed due to his irritation with commercial tourism and by a drought that blunted the autumnal colors he had expected. By October he wrote that he was "done in with this incarceration . . . no escape day and night from facing nature constantly . . . and now I am all [a] garbage heap of nerves and weaknesses." Nevertheless, when exhibited later that year at Alfred Stieglitz's gallery, An American Place, Hartley's latest body of work did well due to the deeply lush colors and bold forms that are displayed so triumphantly in this painting.
Bonnie Pitman, ed., Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 250.