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 Winckworth Allan Gay  (1821 - 1910)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: landscape, marine-coastal view

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Winckworth Allan Gay
from Auction House Records.
SANDY BEACH, COHASSET
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Winckworth Allan Gay was a painter of landscapes including many scenes of Europe and the Orient and also did an occasional portrait.  His landscape style combined Tonalism of the Barbizon School and serenity and vistas of the Hudson River School.  He was one of the first Americans to be influenced by the Barbizon style of painting from France, was one of the earliest Americans to study in Paris, and was one of the first, possibly the first, American painter to live and paint in Japan.

He was born in 1821 in West Hingham, Massachusetts.   He is known to have studied with Robert W. Weir in West Point, New York in 1838, and was painting in the Boston area in the early 1840s, as suggested by his first known portrait, which was Ebenezer Gay, executed in 1845.

He traveled throughout Europe for four years, beginning in 1847.  He was an inveterate traveler, painting locales as varied as the Orient, Egypt, northeastern America and France.  In Paris, Gay worked with Constant Troyon, and through him came under the influence of the Barbizon School of landscape painters in Barbizon, France.

Returning to Boston in 1851, Gay, for a number of years, continued to exhibit paintings based on his European sketches and experience.  He was very successful with work that married the styles of the French Barbizon and American Hudson River Schools of painting and exemplified a use of color and meticulous brushwork that suggests John Frederick Kensett and the Luminists.

Gay joined the West Campton artists' colony in New Hampshire in the late 1850s, and had been depicting the White Mountains there for most of that decade.  But Gay's restless feet would not allow him to remain in the Northeast.  By 1873, he was on the road again to Egypt and Europe.  And, in 1877, he traveled to Japan and other countries in the Orient, financing the journey by auctioning-off 112 paintings.  He stayed in Japan for four years, spending time in Kamakura, Yokohama, Tokyo and Kyota.

He was back in Boston by 1881, and exhibited many of his paintings from his Oriental travels including scenes with canals, temples and old Japanese castles.

Gay died in 1910, and had discontinued painting in 1890.

Winckworth Allan Gay's paintings can be found in the collections of the Boston Athenaeum, Brooklyn Museum, Hingham Historical Society, Massachusetts, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Source:
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art


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