[Fort Putnam, N.Y. ca. 1860]. Watercolor on paper, 9 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches. Laid down on modern card. Signed in lower left corner: "W F Friend." Colors clean and fresh. In fine condition. Matted. Item #WRCAM36988
A fine watercolor of the Hudson River as seen from Fort Putnam, painted by Washington F. Friend. A single figure in a red coat in the foreground provides scale as well as a touch of contrast to the predominant brown, blue, green, and grey tones used to portray the river and surrounding woods and hills and a partially cloudy sky. Several ships can be seen on the Hudson, and a village across the river is also depicted. In the foreground on the right side can be seen part of a brick wall, perhaps part of the fort's fortification.
Friend (ca. 1820-1886), a painter and topographic artist who specialized in watercolors, is particularly well known for his work in the American West. "After failed business, he became an itinerant artist, sketching in Utah, California, Colorado, and Montana and painted a panorama which was exhibited in Canada and the eastern U.S." - Falk. Following a three-year journey through the western United States and Canada, Friend displayed his work in panoramic form as one element in a theatrical event which included music and recitations. The show toured in the northeast and England. Upon his return to the United States, he continued to paint and exhibit his work.
A fine mid-19th-century watercolor view of the Hudson River as seen from the West Point area. WHO WAS WHO IN AMERICAN ART, 1564-1975 I, p.1202. Hughes, ARTISTS IN CALIFORNIA, p.192.