Online auction site Everything But the House has a unique item in its Autumn Landmark Collection: an original landscape painting by Robert S. Duncanson, circa 1850-1852.
A Hudson River School artist considered to be the most accomplished Black painter of his time, "Duncanson became a fixture in Cincinnati’s history when Nicholas Longworth commissioned him to decorate the halls of his Cincinnati estate, 'Belmont,' which is now home to the Taft Museum," says EBTH.
Confirmed by art scholars to be of the same time period as the Taft murals, the painting is housed in its original Rococo-style frame.
"The Romantic landscape, perhaps of a Southern landscape, features a river meandering in the middle of a forest, with distant mountains visible in the luminist sky," says EBTH. "In the left foreground, three figures stand by their encampment on a spit of land interjecting into the river. The painting exhibits Duncanson’s style of the early (1850s) with dark red and blue tones, however, the artist may have reworked the painting a few years later, as he often did with the intent to improve his technique and appeal to American and European trends."
While the Taft Museum of Art said they cannot comment on the painting or its sale, the museum's website says the Taft's eight different 9-foot-by-6-and-a-half-foot Duncanson murals, painted directly on the wall plaster, "are now recognized as the most significant pre–Civil War domestic murals in the United States and are one of the Taft Museum of Art’s largest artworks, second only to the house itself."
EBTH's untitled American landscape was acquired by private collection in 1966, sold by the Carl Solway Gallery to Middendorf Gallery in 1989, sold by the Middendorf Gallery to private collection that same year and then sold by Carl Solway Gallery to private collection in 2006.
Robert Duncanson scholar Joseph Ketner and gallerist Michael Francis Meyer studied the painting, and Meyer can provide a letter concerning his opinion of the authenticity for the buyer.
View items from the Autumn Landmark Sale during a virtual EBTH preview event 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 at facebook.com/ebthofficial/live.
The sale — which also includes "two Edward Henry Potthast oil paintings, a hard to find Orange Clemence Leather Hermès Birkin, an amazing selection of heirloom sterling silver and many more significant pieces" — ends Sept. 20.
Find more info at ebth.com.