Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Quaker by Andrew Wyeth

“One coat of silk brocade brought to mind powdered wigs, printed buckled velvet shoes, and beauty marks glued to haughty checks. The presence of the man who wore it was alive as he walked the mirrored corridors of the French courts, or waltzed on the polished ballroom floors, spinning sweeping circles, as his coat tails flew out behind. This coat, the color of the bleached gold fields above the studio, was as feasting as the winter sun that patterned the bare floor. 
In contrast, the second coat hung heavily on its hanger, and was made of homespun.  It seemed to turn its back on the worldly charms, but upon closer inspection, it held the warmth of endurance its partner could never attain.  Here was a man who chose to wear a coat the color of the earth beneath the surface of things. His coarse shoes echoed heavily down mirrored corridors, and the closest he would ever come to a waltz would be a bow.
One had the power of silence-the other the rustle of silk. Together they became The Quaker-one of Andrew Wyeth’s most personal paintings.

In 1976, The Quaker was one of the principle attractions at the Andrew Wyeth one-man exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Thomas Hoving, Director of the Metropolitan, who had organized the show, said: “It is one of the finest temperas Andrew Wyeth has ever done. It is the very essence of this brilliant artist at his very best–a mystery of reality and abstraction at the same time.
From the moment, the undertaking was flawlessly conducted. The object being to ensure that the finished reproduction should be as close to the painting as possible. Even the hand-carved frame was copied from the original. The Quaker proved to be very difficult to reproduce. It took many weeks to match the gold’s and earth tones of the original. Each sheet was hand-fed onto the Collotype press, one color at a time, until the master printer, Harry Lerner, was satisfied.” ~ Triton Press

“I think it would be fair to say that ‘The Quaker’ proved to be one of the most difficult of my paintings to reproduce on the fine art printer’s press. Certainly, with its very many similar earth tones, it taxed even the acknowledged skill of Harry Lerner of Triton Press, where many of my most important reproductions have been made during the past twenty-five years. It took weeks of laborious re-proofing before The Quaker was appropriately recreated. The final result, which has my complete approval, is not only an extremely fine interpretation of the original egg-tempera; it is a reproduction of which both Triton Press and I can be proud.”~ Andrew Wyeth.
The above quotes were taken from "A Wyeth Masterpiece authentication" from Thomas Hoving of Triton Press and Joseph E. Levine attached to the back of the painting. I am incredibly honored to have an original copy of this painting in my possession because for me, the art of thrifting is about the treasures I discover. To learn more about the late Mr. Andrew Wyeth please click on the adjacent links . Thank You!

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