A delicately rendered, romanticized Art Nouveau maiden posed with a cornucopia filled with a plentiful summer’s harvest. This original watercolor illustration painting was created by the New York illustrator, muralist, and fine artist Will Hicok Low for the August 1899 cover of McClure’s Magazine‘s Midsummer Fiction Number. A copy of the magazine is included in the sale and the painting is handsomely framed and matted behind glass and ready to enjoy.
Will Hicok Low, born in Albany, New York, in 1853, was a leading muralist and figurative painter who explored both Barbizon landscape and a colorful Victorian style. He studied with academic painter Jean-Leon Gerome from 1872-1877, in Paris, France. He was the second husband of artist Mary MacMonnies Low, and a friend of writer Robert Louis Stevenson. He was a member of the National Academy of Design, New York City, elected an Associate in 1888, and an Academician in 1890. He exhibited at the National Academy for 60 years.
In March 1901, Will Low wrote an article for International Quarterly, “National Expression in American Art,” in which, defending the achievements of American painters of the day versus the Europeans, he sought to tie American art to the great traditions of the past, that were being carried forward in the America of his day. American artists were “another link in the long chain which brings from Greece through Italy and France to the shore of our western hemisphere.” He also wrote art criticism for “Scribner’s,” “McClure’s,” and “Century.”
Low is represented in the collection of the National Academy by a drawing, in graphite, black ink, charcoal, and watercolor, of a Greek muse for the cover of the Academy’s Sixty Sixth Annual Exhibition in 1891. He also painted figurative panels on a 19th Century cabinet in the collection of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia.
Will Hicok Low died in Bronxville, New York in 1932.