September Morning: The First Ferry. 1929. Watercolor. 10 1/8 x 13 (image and sheet). Provenance: The Fine Art Society, London. A misty, impressionist watercolor on French papier vedâtre. Titled and dated '29' verso. Signed in pencil, recto, lower right. Housed in the original 19 1/8 x 232 5/8 gold leaf frame. $6,500.
Having established himself in London as an etcher of urban architectural views, Joseph Pennell returned to the United States in 1917 and settled in Brooklyn, where he turned his attention to watercolors of New York subjects. Pennell constructed the composition of abbreviated areas of dark and light forms recalls the compositional methods of his colleague, James Abbott McNeill Whistler. The watercolor show the ferry, above which looms the skyscrapers tugs moving the liner to its dock, above which looms the skyscrapers of the Wall Street district, viewed from Pennell's Brooklyn apartment.
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