Sea and Birches

by Jonas Lie (1880–1940)

Oil on canvas
25 x 36⅛ inches
Signed lower left: JONAS LIE ’

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Information

Provenance
Macbeth Galleries, New York
Sale, Sotheby Park Bernet, New York, New York, January 30, 1980, lot 299
Private collection, New Jersey
Sale, Freeman’s, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 9, 2019, lot 79, from above

 

Note: Although this scene is realistic rather than impressionistic in style, the influence of the French master Claude Monet (1840–1926), whose work Lie encountered in Paris in 1906, can be seen in Lie’s use of color, atmospheric light, and composition. Here the inclusion of birch trees and shimmering blue sea nods to Lie’s Norwegian roots.

 

Artist Biography

Jonas Lie grew up in Norway yet considered himself an American artist and convinced his contemporaries to do the same. Writing for Arts & Decoration in 1935, fellow painter Wayman Adams asserted, “Although his origin and the quiet exploring quality of his mind are traceable to his Norse descent, his spirit and his career are American.” Lie immigrated to New York in 1892. Although never fully matriculated, Jonas Lie attended classes at the National Academy of Design and Cooper Union Art School. Subsequent trips to Europe exposed the young artist to Claude Monet and Frits Thaulow, whose Impressionist techniques he

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Jonas Lie grew up in Norway yet considered himself an American artist and convinced his contemporaries to do the same. Writing for Arts & Decoration in 1935, fellow painter Wayman Adams asserted, “Although his origin and the quiet exploring quality of his mind are traceable to his Norse descent, his spirit and his career are American.” Lie immigrated to New York in 1892. Although never fully matriculated, Jonas Lie attended classes at the National Academy of Design and Cooper Union Art School. Subsequent trips to Europe exposed the young artist to Claude Monet and Frits Thaulow, whose Impressionist techniques he internalized. Once an established artist, he exhibited at the Armory Show, National Academy of Design, Corcoran Gallery of Art, and The Art Institute of Chicago. Elected an Academician in 1925 and a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1929, the celebrated landscape painter served as president of the National Academy of Design from 1934 to 1939. His work appears in numerous collections, including the Detroit Institute of Art; Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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