Sale, Christie’s, New York, September 27, 1990, lot 29
James R. Ryan, Michigan, acquired from above
Estate of James R. Ryan, Michigan
Menconi & Schoelkopf Fine Art, New York
Questroyal Fine Art, LLC, New York, 2009
Private collection, New York, 2010
Greenwood Lake, 1875, oil on canvas mounted on masonite, 30⅛ x 53¾ inches; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
Note: This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work by the Newington-Cropsey Foundation. According to Dr. Kenneth Maddox this work depicts the southwest corner of Greenwood Lake, where the artist’s home was located, looking north.
Like many of his nineteenth-century compatriots, Jasper Francis Cropsey lived in a constant state of admiration when it came to the American wilderness. Eager to be surrounded by the inspirational landscapes of New England, Cropsey designed an elaborate, twenty-nine room home and studio nestled within the town of Warwick, New York in 1869. The artist deemed his homestead “Aladdin” and frequented the lodging with his family during winters and summers. He also used the home as a starting point from which he could explore surrounding areas such as Greenwood Lake, the Palisades, and Mounts Adam and Eve.
Painted just six years after the completion of Aladdin, Autumn Lake, 1875 is exemplary of the work created by the artist during his sojourns in and around Warwick. Given the sweeping panoramic view and setting, in which an elongated lake is encircled by innumerable mountain ranges, it is quite possible that Autumn Lake records a view seen near Greenwood Lake as suggested by Cropsey scholar, Dr. Kenneth Maddox. Greenwood Lake, located in the southern reaches of Warwick, was conveniently located for Cropsey and supplied him with innumerable sources of inspirational nature. Significantly, it was in the painting of this site that the artist began to change the tenor of his works towards the expression of a more peaceful and calming vision of the natural world. As noted by scholar William S. Talbot, Cropsey’s Greenwood Lake of 1864 began the artist’s “step toward depicting a less theatrical, more idyllic side of nature with prominence given to elements of genre in a broad landscape setting.” Autumn Lake, with its harmonious palette and picturesque landscape elements, adds to Cropsey’s newly-revised vision of a serene American Eden.
Cropsey helped to found the American Watercolor Society and won a medal from the London International Exposition of 1862. His paintings are currently in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection in Madrid.
 William S. Talbot, “Jasper F. Cropsey, 1823–1900” (PhD diss., New York University, 1972), 188.