Eric Sloane (American, 1905-1985) - oil on canvas board landscape painting of a lone skier on a high peak in winter amidst the clouds. Circa 1930s. Size: 16 inches x 20 inches.
Eric Sloane is considered to be one of the great American masters of landscape painting in the 20th century. He is best known as a painter of barns and as an author of books portraying early American life. In this dramatic work, a single, insignificant skier makes his way down through the cloud shrouded peaks of an Alpine range, which are highlighted by the sun's last rays against a pink late afternoon sky. Eric Sloane was born Everard Jean Hinrichs on February 27, 1905. He grew up in New York City and Long Island and began dabbling in art as a sign painter. He enrolled briefly in 1923-1924 at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art and in Yale's School of Art, but did not complete his courses, and, in 1925, left home for Taos, New Mexico. In Taos, Eric fell in love with the sky and became obsessed with clouds and with weather. When he returned to the east, he took up aviation, and Amelia Earhart purchased an early work. He adopted the name Eric Sloane, taking the surname from his mentor, the painter John Sloan (adding a final vowel to avoid any suggestion of a family connection) and the name Eric from the middle of the word America. This painting bears his rare signature which combines the initials EJH (Everard Jean Hinrichs) above the name SLOANE. Eric believed that paintings should recall memories, both for the artist and the viewer. Many of his works were painted from memory. In this painting, he contrasts smooth brushwork and a soft pastel palette with the heavier stark white impasto treatment of the sunlight glinting from the mountain peaks. When depicting clouds and sky, he frequently enjoyed illustrating the smallness and insignificance of mankind, when compared to the vastness of nature's wonders. The lone skier in this painting is a fine example of his philosophy. Condition: the painting has been professionally cleaned and is offered in a modern silver metal leaf carved frame. A letter 'T' is painted in the lower left corner but its meaning is unclear; this may be a reference applied to works completed while in Taos.