Set Yourself in Henry Farrer's Serene Winter Scene March 02 2017


Winter Scene in Moonlight by Henry Farrer
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 24"x30" ($800)

March typically means the last vestiges of winter, though the weather we’ve been having in NYC might suggest Jack Frost has been hitting snooze this season. Never fear: we’ve got your winter wonderland right here.

Today’s edition release hails from the dazzling and diverse oeuvre of one Henry Farrer. The English-born autodidactic artist immigrated to America in 1863, where he held a brief tenure in the Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art—a group lead by his older brother, also an expatriate and accomplished painter. As a member of this association, Farrer worked in the Pre-Raphaelite style, creating highly detailed, doggedly realistic still lifes and landscapes. Sharply focussed and super saturated, those earlier pieces are a departure from the works Farrer would come to be known for.

Winter Scene in Moonlight caught Farrer at a crossroads. In the 1870s, the artist adopted the Tonalist style, working almost exclusively in watercolor (he would go on to co-found the American Watercolor Society) and painting natural and landscape forms inflected by an overall tonal cast. This approach produced moodier, more atmospheric images. Today’s edition has a blue-tinge that turns down the temperature on the landscape as a whole, emphasizing the icy beauty of this moonlit winter spectacle and underscoring its captivating quietude.

Made in 1869, Winter Scene in Moonlight is Farrer's earliest known watercolor landscape and exhibits a perfect blend of the two styles he was transitioning between at the time. To render this scene (likely a vista in Brooklyn, where the artist lived most his life) Farrer used a mix of watercolor and gouache. The resulting landscape is still realistic, but with an undeniably dreamy aura of nocturnal serenity—the superlative winter wonderland.

With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200