While the majority of his paintings and prints depict scenes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, Peter Moran (1841- 1914) was very important as the first eastern American artist to work in the Santa Fe area.
The Moran family emigrated from England to the United States in 1644 and settled in Philadelphia a year later. At sixteen Peter was apprenticed to a lithographer for a short time before he went to study art with two of his brothers. They had both become established artists and later became famous for their talent; Thomas Moran for his canvases capturing the grandeur of the American west and Edward Moran as a marine painter. Thomas introduced Peter to the American southwest and Peter traveled to Taos three times between 1880, 1881 and 1883. He maintained a studio in Philadelphia throughout his career and founded the Philadelphia Society of Etchers. He was president of the society for the 23 years that the organization was active. Peter Moran was also a founder of the Philadelphia Art Club and a member of the Philadelphia Sketch Club.
This large watercolor may have been painted late in Moran’s life. It contains an amalgam of motifs that Peter Moran used in his paintings of the southwest. The unusual circular window in the background at left calls to mind the round window that Joseph Henry Sharp put into the corner of his studio in 1911 and that figured prominently in many of that artist’s work. The weaving is probably Navajo, Sunni or Hopi.
Provenance: This watercolor was contained in one of two portfolios containing the artist’s own work, including many monoprints, and engravings by artists who had influenced Peter Moran’s work. The portfolios were part of the estate of a private collector living in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Watercolor on paper.
23 ¼ x 21 inches, sheet.
Signed in pencil at bottom right.
Excellent condition save 2 small areas of evidence of mold in upper right.
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