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2024 Winter Fine Art, Antiques & Jewelry (Day 1)

Sat, Jan 27, 2024 09:00AM EST
Lot 332

William Holbrook Beard O/C, The Rivals, Exhibited 1858

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,200

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William Holbrook Beard (New York/Ohio, 1824-1900) oil on canvas painting entitled The Rivals depicting two figures meeting on a country road. A full-figured man at left gestures demandingly while in conversation with a slimmer man accompanied by dog at right. With an expansive landscape visible in the distance behind them. Signed "W.H. Beard," lower left. With Alexander Gallery, New York label affixed to back of stretcher. Housed in a period gilt wood frame. Canvas: 20" H x 15 3/4" W. 24 1/2" H x 20 1/2" W. Exhibited, National Academy of Design, New York, NY, 1858, no. 167. Biographical Note: William H. Beard was born in Painesville, Ohio, in 1824. He studied with his older brother as a portrait painter, but was always interested in subjects found in nature. He painted animals and landscapes before gaining a national reputation as a painter of satirical scenes of animals acting like humans. He began his career as a portrait painter in New York City, then joined Hudson River artists Albert Bierstadt, Sanford Gifford, and Worthington Whittredge for two years in Europe. When he returned to America in 1858 he opened a studio in Buffalo, New York, where he met his future wife, Caroline LeClaire, the daughter of prominent portrait and genre artist, Thomas LeClaire. In 1866, Beard traveled by stage coach through Kansas to Denver with the noted travel writer Bayard Taylor. Beard spent most of the last 40 years of his career working in his studio in the renowned The Studio Building in New York City. In 1897, a reporter with The New York Times interviewed Beard and listed the artists Beard knew who had studios there in the past and present: Albert Bierstadt, J.G. Brown, William Merritt Chase, Frederick Church, Lockwood de Forest, William De Haas, Sanford Gifford, Winslow Homer, Emanuel Leutze, William Page, T. B. Reid, James Suydam, Hendrik-Kirk Kruseman Van Elten, Horatio Walker, Worthington Whittredge, and Thomas W. Wood. Beard stated that he had been working in this studio for over 36 years, further saying that Whittredge was there before him and still had a studio there. Although William H. Beard was an excellent portrait and landscape painter, his major income derived from his paintings of allegorical and fantasy subjects, especially bears. As a member of the National Academy of Design, he exhibited those works there. (Adapted from askART)


Overall very good condition. Canvas has been lined. With minor retouching to dog's hind quarters and to frame abrasion along lower edge, including signature area.

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Private South Carolina Collection.