Rose and Blue
William McGregor Paxton, 1913
"(William McGregor Paxton) crowned the edifice of nineteenth century Impressionism by carrying their logical principles to their logical conclusion. This is not to say that he was the greatest artist among its practitioners but that he achieved their proclaimed objectives more completely in all respects than anyone else. His unsurpassed visual acuity combined with great technical command enabled him to report his impressions with astounding veracity. Of all the painters whose color perception had been sharpened by plein air study he was the most accurate draftsman and he never slackened his efforts to render both shape and color just as they appeared to the artist's eye. Paxton opined that all painters, excepting Vermeer at the top of his form, permitted some tonality absent in nature to tinge their pictures. He constantly pointed out that the invisible atmospheric envelope through which we look is limpid, 'like a glass of pure water' and he responded to that challenge. His best indoor paintings are distinguished by an ambient lucidity we do not find to a like degree in the pictures of other men. Let no one confuse this with photographic imitation, which it in no way resembles. Effects of this kind are only captured when the artist visualizes the depicted scene as an entity all of whose colors are accurately observed in their mutual relationship, a singularly difficult feat only understood by the talented after years of study."
- R.H. Ives Gammell, The Boston Painters 1900 - 1930
The above painting, Rose and Blue, is from the collection of the Honorable Paul H. Buchanan Jr., and is featured in the upcoming Heritage Auction Gallery sale scheduled for June 10-13, 2009. The estimated sale price is between $250,000 and $450,000.