The Artist's Studio. c. 1914. Oil on canvas. 24 1/8 x 32. The canvas is in fine condition, having been professionally lined, cleaned and varnished. The painting is housed in a 29 1/2 x 37-inch reproduction Sully-style gold frame. Signed, lower right and also on the verso of the canvas in the center of the image. $5,000.
Hurlburt apparently created a 'period piece' work of art.The two maids are dressed in late 19th century clothing. The slight puff at the top of the sleeve is 1897 - 1898.
The maid on the left has her scarf done in a way that is quite Dutch or Flemish. The woman on the right has a headscarf that could just be the tie of the scarf making that shape in the front. If her hair is done up with a chignon in the back causing the scarf to be full in the back, the placement of that bun would make the piece 1908 - 1912. The "Psyche knot" was very popular in 1910.
The woman in the painting on the easel is maybe old fashioned with a simpler and fuller version of early 20th century hairstyles. It's hard to tell if what is around her neck is a boa or a collar, but boas of all shapes and sizes were popular in the 1890's. Her gown is decidedly unfitted and appears to have a loose belt at the waist. If the skirt is in layers with the light skirt length over a darker skirt, that would put the outfit in 1910 or 1914. The problem is the waist. In 1910 - 1912 it was a neo-empire revival with a high waist. It wasn't until 1914 that the waists were coming back down with sashes at the waistline. It is just not specific enough to see the details that would help to date it. I guess I would be inclined to date it more 1914 - the approximate date of the woman in the painting, and assuming that the maids are dressed in an old fashioned way, but their skirts are awfully full and long for the period to be practical for cleaning.
Irving E. Hurlburt lived and worked in New Haven, Connecticut. For most of his life, he resided at Wolcott Street in New Haven. Possibly the room is the artist's studio.He studied at the Yale School of Fine Arts, 1890-93 He was a member of the New Haven Paint and Clay Club. In 1888 he received the Ethel Childe Walker Prize at the Yale School of Fine Arts. His sketches of Pictures of New Haven show historic buildings, scenes and events of New Haven, CT. They were reproduced as wood engravings in the New Haven Almanack for the years 1906 to 1913, published by Ye Olde Hardware Store of the John E. Bassett Co. His other published sketches in that venue were: The Tontine Coffee House, Mayor Roger Sherman, Mistress Godman's Trial, Ye Ghost Ship, Fire at Long Wharf 1820, Whitneyville in 1825, The Amistad Captives. He is listed in the Annuals of American Art, 1924.
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