A large and important exhibited American impressionist oil painting by the Boston artist Arthur Prince Spear, 1879-1959. “Nets of Silver and Gold” was painted in 1922 and exhibited at Art Guild shows in Columbus, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh in 1922-1923, before being sold at Chicago’s O’Brien Gallery in May of 1923. The painting features an outstanding large ethereal and luminous trio of sea nymphs in silhouette, ablaze at sea under a full moon. This is painted in an impressionist style with a textured heavy impasto technique.
Housed in its original carved gold leaf wood frame, likely created by Newcomb-Macklin or Carrig-Rahone.
The verso canvas has an old wax relining on the original pine stretcher bars.
Works of this magnitude by Arthur Spear seldom come on the market, the artist destroyed most of his surviving canvases in the mid 1930s in a rash act brought about from the hard times of the depression. “Nets of Silver and Gold” appears as a plate in the 1981 Warren Historical Society monograph on the artist, with a sales and exhibition record of the painting.
Arthur Prince Spear went to Paris to study under Jean Paul Laurens at the Julien Academy. Most of the artwork that Spear created was of otherworldly sea dwellers, mermaids, satyrs and nymphs and intended as fine art and sold through the Vose Galleries in Boston. The realm he choose to depict was quite his own, the occasional critic dismissed his paintings as “ornamental”.
The artist exhibited at The National Academy of Design, The Guild of Boston Artists, Rosenbach Gallery, the Carnegie Institute, Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the National Arts Club.