George Inness | Asher B. Durand | Painting Attribution

Case of Mistaken Identity: The Overdue Recognition of George Inness

Chelsea DeLay | October 26th, 2012 | Posted in News

Belonging to the collection of American art at the Dallas Museum of Art  since 1931, an unsigned landscape painting once attributed to Hudson River School artist Asher B. Durand has been given a new name, a new creator, and a new lease on life.  Originally titled In the Woods, this artwork has been confirmed by experts as a piece from the oeuvre of George Inness. The reattribution has been long awaited by curious curators who had recognized certain similarities between the then-Durand work and the compositions of George Inness. The critical element that gave away the painting’s true authorship was recognized by Sue Canterbury, the Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art: a rock formation set in the dead center of the work had the same strong geometric rendering that was nearly identical to an Inness drawing located at the Princeton University Art Museum.

To confirm her suspicions that this was not a work by Durand, Canterbury had Michael Quick, the author of George Inness’ catalogue raisonné, examine the painting, and while doing so he found the artist’s signature.  His expertise on Inness led to the conclusion that the landscape painting had been completed around 1850, and that a new name was in order for the work.  Stream in the Mountains is a more fitting title, which better relates to similar works by the artist created during the late nineteenth century. This work is a perfect example of how modern science and traditional connoisseurship can join forces to unearth  hidden gems lurking right beneath our noses. Questroyal currently has several Inness paintings that are truly a sight to behold, stop in to take a look!  

George Inness, “North Conway, New Hampshire,” Questroyal Fine Art, LLC.

Chelsea DeLay is a Researcher at Questroyal Fine Art. Chelsea earned her MA in art business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York, and her BA in art history and classical studies. Her interest in American paintings first began while working at an auction house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and has multiplied exponentially since joining the Questroyal team.