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Record 15: BAITING THE HOOK




 
               
BAITING THE HOOK

Copyright 2012, George Caleb Bingham Catalogue Raisonne Supplement #15
Fred R. Kline, M.A., Editor & Director, Independent Art Historian
Kline Art Research Associates
7 Avenida Vista Grande, Suite B-7 , Santa Fe, NM 8750
8

frk
@georgecalebbingham.org   505-9881103
          

 

Artist:
  GEORGE CALEB BINGHAM, American, 1811-1879  
   
Title:
 

BAITING THE HOOK

Note: The model suggests young Colin Dunlop of Petersburg, Virginia, the same boy depicted in Bingham CRS #11, "Portrait of Colin Dunlop and his Dog", 1841 [Collection of Virginia Governor's Mansion and State of Virginia, Richmond, VA./ Bequest of Martha Spotswood, Petersburg, Dunlop's neice; at the time with undetermined authorship].

 

 

     
Medium:
 

Oil on canvas

   
       Size:
 

28x 23 inches

   
 

 

   
Date:




 

ca. 1841

In all likelihood commissioned and painted in Petersburg, Virginia in 1841 during Bingham's six-months in residence there painting portraits and other commissions.


     
Provenance:

 

Probably descended in the family of Colin Dunlop from 1840s, Petersburg, Virginia to Martha Spotswood, Petersburg, VA--Dunlop's neice--and thence

to her Estate, ca. 1977-79.

Estate auction, Manassas, Virginia ca. 1977-79, from which purchased by

Denis and Lorena Thurman, Leesburg, Virgina

Estate auction of Thurman Collection, Alexandria, VA

Private Collection.

     
Exhibitions:

 

First exhibition:

The George Caleb Bingham Catalogue Raisonne’ Supplement of Paintings and Drawings. Fred R. Kline, Editor. George Caleb Bingham "Baiting the Hook", #15. Exhibited online at www.GeorgeCalebBingham.org.  May 2012, Santa Fe, NM

 Publications  

First publication:

The George Caleb Bingham Catalogue Raisonne’ Supplement of Paintings and Drawings. Fred R. Kline, Editor. George Caleb Bingham "Baiting the Hook", #15. Published online at www.GeorgeCalebBingham.org.  May 2012, Santa Fe, NM

 

NOTE-1: Regarding George Caleb Bingham, Baiting the Hook, ca. 1841

 

The painting is among Bingham's first ventures into American-scene genre.

Bingham’s early learning in art came from studying prints of Greco-Roman sculpture and European old master paintings found in popular books of the time, as E. Maurice Bloch points out in George Caleb Bingham: The Evolution of an Artist (University of California Press, 1967. Illustrated Plates: 57, 88, 89, 98, 165, 166, 168).

In Baiting the Hook, and in addition to Bloch's observations, it appears that the artist’s inspiration for modeling the composition of the boy with crossed legs carefully baiting his fishing hook came from the long-celebrated Hellenistic bronze Spinario (Boy With Crossed Legs Pulling a Thorn from His Foot), created in the third century B.C. (now lost) and later recreated in first century C.E. Rome (version extant) and again notably during the Italian Renaissance by the sculptor known as Antico (Pier Jacobo Alari Bonacolsi-Italian: 1460-1528).  Antico’s 1498-1501 bronze Spinario was gifted in 2012 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Mrs. Charles Wrightsman (see "Recent Aquisitions-2010-2012").  Typical of Bingham’s ingenious originality, he reconceived the intricate act of a boy carefully pulling a thorn from his foot in Spinario, to a boy carefully attaching a worm to his fishing hook in Baiting the Hook, both of which can be appreciated as timeless acts that Bingham no doubt recognized from his own youth. 

Many of Bingham's drawings support strong figurative and task-related affinities to Baiting the Hook (Bloch, The Drawings of George Caleb Bingham with a Catalogue Raisonne, University of Missouri Press, 1975.  Illustrated Plates: *17a, 24, 54, 74a, *86, 94, *99a, *99b, 104, *107a, 110a).  Clearly, Bingham favored the pose of children and adults, most often sitting with crossed legs, engaged in doing something with their hands, whether it be playing "muble-the-peg", counting pennies, dealing cards, repairing a watch, writing a letter--or baiting a fishing hook.

A young fisherman (and older fishermen) in a landscape appears as a favored motif and subject in a number of Bingham's paintings (Bloch, The Paintings of George Caleb Bingham: A Catalgue Raisonne, University of Missouri Press, 1986.  Illustrated Plates: 234, 235, 252, 270, 271, 275).

 

NOTE-2: Regarding George Caleb Bingham, Baiting the Hook, ca. 1841

The painting was not known to E. Maurice Bloch and was not included in his 1986 Catalogue Raisonne, The Paintings of George Caleb Bingham; however Bloch's research and Catalogues Raisonnes of paintings and drawings provided supportive and conclusive evidence in the authentication process.

 / F. R. K.

 


 

  

 

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