R. Swain Gifford (1840 - 1905)
R. Swain Gifford was born on one of the Elizabeth Islands off Cape Cod, and spent much of his childhood in the coastal town of Fairhaven, Connecticut. His natural talent lead to his invitation to study with the accomplished Dutch artist Albert Van Beest, who was in Connecticut for a short time. He exhibited and sold work in New York, and by the time he was twenty-five he had established himself as an artist and printmaker. Almost entirely self-taught, Gifford was a highly respected and teacher at the Cooper Union school in New York City, when Edward Harriman invited him to come to Alaska, where he served the Harriman expedition as a staff artist, producing a large body of landscapes depicting the Alaskan wilderness. These paintings were used to illustrate the printed record of the expedition, and much of this body of work is held by The Smithsonian Institution. Returning to New York, Gifford continued painting and teaching until his death.
The Path to the Shore
Etching and aquatint, 1879; edition not stated. Image size 7-7/8" x 4¼”; sheet size 12" x 8¾". Signed in the plate. A beautiful, detailed image in very good overall condition.
Cows Wading (after Troyon)
Etching and aquatint on unmounted Japan paper, 1887; edition not stated. Image size 8-7/16” x 6-3/16”; sheet size 10-3/8” x 8”. Signed in the plate as well as in pencil by the artist in the lower margin. A beautifully inked impression with rich detail. Sheet is very good with minor wrinkling at corners and faint adhesive residue along left and right edges.
Near the Coast
Etching and aquatint, 1886; edition not stated. Image size 10-5/8” x 6¾”; sheet size 13-9/16” x 9-13/16”. Signed in the plate and in pencil in the lower margin. Very good overall condition with faint mat burn outside of sight area.
A Woodland Pasture
Etching and aquatint, 1888; edition not stated. Image size 11-7/8” x 7-7/8”; sheet size 17¼” x 13-3/8”. Published by Estes and Lauriat, Boston. Signed in the plate as well as in pencil by Gifford in the lower margin. A beautiful impression in overall very good condition.