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Elmer Livingston MacRae Cos Cob Connecticut School Original Antique American Impressionist Landscape Oil Painting
Elmer Livingston MacRae Cos Cob Connecticut School Original Antique American Impressionist Landscape Oil Painting
Elmer Livingston MacRae Cos Cob Connecticut School Original Antique American Impressionist Landscape Oil Painting
Elmer Livingston MacRae Cos Cob Connecticut School Original Antique American Impressionist Landscape Oil Painting
Elmer Livingston MacRae Cos Cob Connecticut School Original Antique American Impressionist Landscape Oil Painting
Pacific Fine Art

Elmer Livingston MacRae Cos Cob Connecticut School Original Antique American Impressionist Landscape Oil Painting

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Elmer Livingston MacRae, (1875-1953) was a prominent early American artist. Though primarily a visual artist and realist, his early work is specifically associated with and identified by, the work reflected in the Cos Cob, Connecticut School of early American impressionism; which, at this time, was the natural result of the evolution of American Tonalism, expanding to a lovely impressionist with pastel hues and a soft, dream-like treatment to the landscape.

Elmer Livingston MacRae (1875–1953)

Elmer Livingston MacRae was an influential American artist celebrated for his paintings, pastels, and sketches. As a key figure of the Cos Cob Art Colony in Greenwich, Connecticut, he played a vital role in organizing the groundbreaking 1913 Armory Show in New York and helped found the American Pastel Society, serving as its first secretary-treasurer, as well as the Greenwich Society of Artists.

Born in New York City in 1875, MacRae studied at the Art Students League of New York under notable artists such as Robert Frederick Blum, John Henry Twachtman, H. Siddons Mowbray, and James Carroll Beckwith.

In 1896, at 20, he attended an outdoor painting class in Cos Cob, where he met and fell in love with Emma Constant Holley, the daughter of the Holley House owner. MacRae eventually moved to the Holley House in 1899, marrying Emma in 1900. They had twin daughters, Constant and Clarissa, in 1904.

MacRae succeeded Twachtman as head of the Cos Cob colony, and for two decades, he and Emma ran the Holley House, which served as both a boardinghouse for artists and writers and a studio for MacRae’s works. A committed suffragist, MacRae donated a painting to support the Greenwich Equal Suffrage League and designed the badge for the National Junior Suffrage Corps.

He passed away on April 2, 1953, in Cos Cob.

Primarily a realist painter with early influences from impressionism and Japonism, MacRae frequently depicted his wife and daughters, as well as floral studies and landscapes inspired by the Cos Cob area. His floral works particularly reflected Japanese techniques, learned from Genjiro Yeto, a Japanese artist at the Cos Cob colony.

In 1910, MacRae joined the Pastellists and later became a member of the American Association of Painters and Sculptors, serving as treasurer and helping plan the 1913 Armory Show. This show influenced his shift towards modernism, seen in his simplified, bold floral works by 1915.

MacRae exhibited widely in New York and Connecticut, with a posthumous retrospective at the Milch Gallery in New York City in 1959.

It is estimated this painting was completed between 1904, to 1910. This work displays the signature of his flicking brush strokes of the early American Cos Cob Colony impressionism, with the early soft colors and form of local landscape prominent in the artist's works. The pink, light blue, peach, and mint are extraordinary; and rarely found in a painting this age, outside of this particular, important movement, of American Art. (Almost refreshingly shocking, in a painting this age; the excellent and bold view and colors of the painting, as created by this talented artist). The colors display the work created when the artist's daughters were born; a portrait of the two, as babies, has this same, very beautiful flow of identical, soft pastel color. The light falling on the landscape is nothing short of spectacular. Color is still amazing in this antique oil painting. The painting does appear to be an earlier painting by the artist, by all indicators, as well; the painting is nailed into the stretcher boards; and the canvas is a lighter type of linen canvas. There has been previous restoration for a couple of small areas; all restoration is isolated to these small areas and is minor. (There is a back patch to the right of the back that has been there, for the last 60 years, at least; (it is not evident what this particular patch was correcting) two other very small patches approximately 2"X1", as shown.) There is a flaw to the upper left side, in the sky, that was corrected with patchwork on the back, but may need a very small over paint, on the front, as it has not been perfectly corrected). Painting is in good and stable, overall condition, and is very large, for this school of art. It is signed on the lower left. Approximate measurements are 30 3/4" X 23 3/4". The painting did not travel far from its origins and was purchased in Connecticut.
Painting will be packed professionally, and shipped with insurance, online tracking, and signature confirmation, included in the shipping quote.

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