Fourth state of five, from the total edition of about 21, in very good condition with wide margins (remains of prior hingng on margins verso), archival mounting, on cream laid paper with an ITALY watermark
A fine atmospheric impression
By the onset of the 20th Century Arthur B. Davies (1862-1928) was the most distinguished artist in America. He was asked to participate in the first show of The Eight (to give it some weight; he had little in common with the other seven), and was also asked by younger artists to help organize the Armory Show of 1913, both to lend his prestige to this risky effort, and to suggest which European artists should participate. After the Show he experimented with cubist paintings and prints, but by 1919, the time of his making By the Sea (also known as Idyll), he had shifted back to an early idiom. Taking a cue from the Symbolists, he created compositions of nudes, and sometimes other beings such as unicorns, dancing in forests or along lake fronts, much indebted to the work of his Puvis de Chavannes.
In this essentially modernist work one also sees the influence of the compositions and cubist-like patterning of Cezanne in the aquatinted trees and ground, and the figurative work of Cezanne, as well as Degas and Pissarro.