Marvin D. ConeU.S. 1891-1965
Untitled (landscape with clouds) 91.0049
In the 1920s and 1930s the American landscape, particularly Midwestern landscape, assumed a new importance in American art. Art historians like Thomas Craven praised a native art that was realistic in style and traditional in subject matter. Landscape came to represent all that was good in American culture. It served as a metaphor for American cultural values, for stability, morality, and continuity in uncertain times. Marvin Cone was tremendously influenced by the traditional landscapes of William Merritt Chase, Charles Hawthorne, and especially Grant Wood, who stressed at his art colony the value of regional artistic traditions. Cone's landscapes of the 1930s, the decade in which this landscape was probably painted, display a great sense of introspection and tranquility. They rarely include people. They are topographically imprecise. The colors are subtle and evocative, the forms complex and layered.
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