Emil Carlsen [1848-1932]
Still life with fowl and copper pot, 1885
Oil on canvas
17 x 33 inches (unframed) / 24-1/2 x 40 inches (framed)
Signed at lower left: “Emil. Carlsen.’.
Marking type: Inscription scratched into dried paint surface two years later.
Location: Upper left.
Text: ‘To My friend Van Boskerck [friend and fellow artist Robert Ward Van Boskerck [1855-1932]], NY 87’.
Still life with fowl and copper pot by Emil Carlsen, 1885. Oil on canvas, strip lined and expertly restored in 2008 bringing back its original glow. Signed at lower left. Inscribed “To My friend van Boskinck?, NY 87” at upper left. The dedication was scratched into the dry paint two years later by Carlsen and given as a gift to his friend in 1887. Carlsen was known to do this with his “studies”. The study used a piece of cut unframed canvas, quickly and lightly primed with a light base most probably adhered to a board and was later framed for the gifting or by the recipient. Carlsen focused on the dead bird because he had limited time to capture the fowl before it would “sink and melt”. He painted the study of the bird rapidly and with very free brush work. This is some of the best BRAVA brushwork I have ever seen of Carlsen. The study was for a larger square composition with the bird and copper pot. The pot did not need to be in the study as it would not change in its appearance. The painting uses Carlsen’s limited “earth” palette including only ivory black, yellow ochre, rose madder, cobalt blue, and white. Even the browns are all mixed. The finished composition was variously called Still Life With Poultry and Still Life with Rooster and Brass Urn, 1885. The final composition was sold by Sotheby’s New York in 1989 from the collection of Mr. & Mrs. Fred D. Bentley, Sr., Marietta, Georgia, and again in 1983 by William Doyle from the collection of J.E. Orostek, [NC?]. I have included a black and white photograph of the finished composition that the study was for.