Night Scene in Winter

Wouldn’t this 1887 chromolithograph of a wintry landscape make a wonderful

The American artist George Herbert McCord (1848-1909) signed this piece that was published by L. Prang & Co. It had some slight wear and tear around the edges and I have take the liberty to clean them up for you. The original work was also framed within a thin white border, which I’ve trimmed off because much of the border was damaged and discolored. Though, I think I liked the semi-foxed off-white color that appears now rather than a pristine white border.

This night scene picture includes an old country church with a bell tower. Across a small, semi-frozen river is a cottage with the fireplace going. The setting sun seems to be playing peek-a-boo between a pair of clouds, casting a glow upon the landscape below.  McCord used very few colors in this piece. It almost looks as if it was a sepia print. Unfortunately, the information I have did not include where this pretty church, stone bridge and cottage are located. But, somehow, I think that just adds a small air of mystery to an already mystical looking picture.

George McCord was born in New York City.

It is an extremely random process for me to pick pictures for all of my art sites. It seems almost impossible that another artist I recently stumbled upon would have lived in the same New Jersey city as McCord. Thomas Nast, most well-remembered for creating the appearance of Santa Claus, lived in Morristown, the same town in which McCord maintained a studio. Even more odd is that I lived the first nine years of my life near there.

McCord is said to have made frequent trips to Canada, New England, Florida and parts of the Mississippi River to sketch. He lived for several years in both Venice and Paris. He was also commissioned to paint the scenery surrounding Andrew Carnegie’s castle in Scotland and painted scenes of the Grand Canyon for the Santa Fe Railroad. It would seem that this piece includes inspiration from several of those places.

It sounds like McCord didn’t like to stay in one place for very long and he adopted numerous painting styles. One gallery’s website wondered if McCord and his work is not more well-known because his work is hard to classify. I have seen several of his pieces in developing this short biography and they all depicted a night scene glowing skies in various colors illuminating a landscape with usually only one or two points of interest. I think his work is lovely. What do you think?

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