Provenance Private collection, France Sale, Sotheby’s, New York, New York, December 2, 2010, lot 11 Private collection, Michigan
Self-Portrait at Montigny, 1876, oil on canvas, 21¾ x 18 inches; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
Note: Low painted this work while living in Paris. The vicinity of the Loing river was a preferred subject of the French impressionists. Situated in the forest of Fontainebleau, Montigny-sur-Loing was a popular place for ceramicists inspired by impressionistic aesthetics as well as author Guy de Maupassant, who wrote his final novel while living there, and Victor Laloux, the Beaux-Arts architect.
Will H. Low was a prominent force in the New York art world during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Known primarily as a muralist, Low studied with the French neo-classicist painter, Jean-Léon-Gérôme during the 1870s. Although the artist created a number of works in the style of his teacher, he eventually expanded his repertoire to produce works that were less linear in style, opting for a more expressionistic and textured application of paint. In addition to murals and canvases, Low also crafted stained-glass windows with John LaFarge, demonstrating his talent in composition and design, as