Back in the mid 90s I picked up a book at the local Boarders book shop called “American Impressionism”. Flipping through the pages I came across a painting of three beautiful girls in profile, sitting on a hillside against a backdrop of blue sky and whisps of clouds with their hair swaying in the summer breeze.
What was most striking in the picture, and what has stayed with me ever since, was the radiant light bouncing from the girls white dresses into their faces and hair. It was as beautiful a rendition of radiant light as I’d ever seen, and that includes works from the French impressionists.
The artist was an American called Charles Courtney Curran, a name I would never forget, but an artist whose work I thought I would never get to see in person. That all changed recently when I attended a fantastic new exhibit of his work at the Frick Art Museum in Pittsburgh called Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal. The exhibit was three rooms of his amazing small and medium-sized oil paintings.
Below are two views I shot of the painting described above, none of which do justice to this amazing artist whose talent certainly rivals all his contemporaries, including the great John Singer Sargent.
“On the Heights”, oil painting by Charles Courtney Curran
“On the Heights”, detail