Painted in 1912, The Kreutzer Sonata was included in The Ten American Painters' 1912 exhibition at Montross Gallery in New York, followed by major shows at the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis, and the Artists’ Club of Denver.
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Like several of his figure pieces done just a few years earlier, including The Guitar Player purchased by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1908, DeCamp incorporates a musical instrument into the composition and imbues the model, one who appears in several other DeCamp paintings, with a sense of introspection. In contrast to other Boston School style paintings where figures lounge on sofas, read quietly or simply gaze off beyond the picture plane, DeCamp’s subject is engaged in an activity that takes some talent, while her corseted form mirrors the curves of the violin she is playing. Written by Beethoven in 1803 and considered one of his masterpieces, the Kreutzer Sonata is known for its ambitious violin part and can be counted among the finest pieces of chamber music ever composed. Likewise, DeCamp’s painting of the same name is remarkable for its clarity of vision and sensitive handling of light and color, especially in rendering the model’s warm skin tones, the softness of the fabric in her dress, and the reflections of gleaming crystals in the hanging drapery and in the polished wood of the instrument itself.
The painting is framed with an Eli Wilner frame.
By descent through family to private collection, Manchester, Massachusetts
To Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 25058, March 1977
To private collection, Chicago, Illinois, August 1978
Eventually with Adelson Galleries, New York, by 1995
To collection, Boston, Massachusetts, 2000
To private collection, Stratham, New Hampshire, 2000 to present
- Torn label, upper left stretcher bar: 1
- Adelson Galleries, New York, with painting description
- Adelson Galleries, New York, exhibition label, Joseph DeCamp: An American Impressionist, Nov. 2 – Dec. 16, 1995, with painting description
- Babcock Galleries, New York, with painting description
- Exhibition label, Masterworks of American Impressionism from thePfeil Collection
- R. H. Love Galleries, Chicago, with painting description
- “Fifteen Times Ten: Fifteenth Annual Show by the “Trusty Ten” at The Montross Art Gallery,” by Charles de Kay, American Art News, March 23, 1912, Vol. X, No. 24, illus. p. 9
- Gammell, R. H. Ives and Hunter, Elizabeth Ives, The Boston Painters 1900-1930 (Orleans, MA: Parnassus Imprints, 1986), p. 64, illus.
- Ten American Painters, Spanierman Gallery, New York, 1990, p. 54, fig. 70, illus.
- Gerdts, William H., Masterworks of American Impressionism from the Pfeil Collection (Alexandria, VA: Art Services International, 1992), p. 107, illus.
- Joseph DeCamp: An American Impressionist, Adelson Galleries, New York, 1995, illus.
- Buckley, Laurene, Joseph DeCamp, Master Painter of the Boston School (Munich and New York: Prestel-Verlag, 1995), p. 119, illus.
- Fifteenth Annual Exhibition, Ten American Painters, Montross Gallery, New York, March 15 – April 6, 1912, No. 8
- Nineteenth Annual Exhibition of American Art, Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio, May 25 – July 27, 1912, No. 88, Illus. p. 15
- Twenty-Fifth Annual Exhibition of American Oil Paintings and Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, November 5 – December 8, 1912, No. 76
- Twenty-Eighth Annual Exhibition of Oil Paintings by American Artists, John Herron Art Institute, Art Association of Indianapolis, Indiana, December 17, 1912 – February 3, 1913, No. 19
- Nineteenth Annual Exhibition of the Artists’ Club of Denver, Colorado, February 28 – March 11, 1913, No. 15
- Joseph DeCamp Memorial Exhibition, 1924 with exhibitions in Boston; Buffalo, New York; Rochester, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Indianapolis, Indiana.
- A Century of American Impressionism, C. W. Post Art Gallery, Long Island City, New York, January 30 – February 28, 1982, Illus.
- Masterworks of American Impressionism from the Pfeil Collection, Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio, February 9 – April 5, 1992, No. 26, Illus. (this exhibition traveled to the Walters Art Gallery; Baltimore; the National Academy of Design, New York; the Philbrook Museum of Art, Oklahoma; the Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona; the Center for the Fine Arts, Miami; the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis; the Honolulu Academy of Art, Hawaii; the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama; the Portland Museum of Art, Oregon; and the Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin.
- Joseph DeCamp: An American Impressionist, Adelson Galleries, New York, November 3 – December 16, 1995, No. 15, Illus.