A large ethereal and transcendent fantasy themed pastel by Frederick Stuart Church firmly planted in the then dominant Art Nouveau movement. Four angelic maidens emerge from graceful flowing lines conjured mid flight, highlighting the artist's soothing and decorative palette and imaginative sense of composition.
Pastel is framed and matted behind glass in a carved wood museum quality frame.
A major nineteenth century painter and etcher of figurative and fantasy scenes, F. S. Church first served as a soldier in the Civil War. He fought in many campaigns and served under General Sherman in his march to the sea. After the conclusion of the war, Church studied art at the Chicago Academy of Design, the National Academy of Design and at the Art Students League, New York. Church began his career as an illustrator for Harper's and received his first commissions for painting in 1875. After that point he dedicated himself to both painting and etching. In the latter category he enjoyed much success and some of his etchings were commissioned by the influential Paris publisher, L'Art.
In many respects Church's art of the 1880's serves as a precursor to the American Art Nouveau movement of the 1890's. His fantasy scenes (particularly those dealing with women, children and animals) exhibit the graceful imagery and long, flowing lines that were to become dominant elements of Art Nouveau.
F. S. Church was a full member of the American Water Color Society, the New York Etching Club, and the Society of Illustrators. He was elected a full Academician of the National Academy in 1885. Examples of Church's fine art are found in many important collections, such as the National Museum of American Illustration, Denver Art Museum, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Brandywine River Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Newark Museum, Museum of New Mexico, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington.