Edgar A. Rupprecht Landscape

This Edgar A. Rupprecht (1889-1954) landscape was done on a very lightweight linen that, over time, has caused some issues. Dehydration to the canvas and the paint film have led to craquelures. This issue is heightened by the canvas cut very close to the size of the stretcher bar, and with how much the stretcher-bar was keyed-out at the corners. As you can tell from the cleaning tests, the cotton tips picked up a fair amount of dirt contaminates.

Edgar Rupprecht was born in 1889 in Zanesville, Ohio. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under Harry Wolcott, John Norton, and Karl Buehr; and was also influenced by the ultra-conservative Kenyon Cox, who visited Chicago in the spring of 1911 when he delivered the famous Scammon lectures. Cox also taught at the Art Institute, where he noticed that students were stressing expression over drawing and design, an influence that would have made its way into Rupprecht’s style.

Rupprecht won the Goodman Prize at the Art Institute in 1922 and the Holmes Prize in the following year. Perhaps Cox’s “Classic Point of View” was not what Rupprecht was looking for, as he enrolled in 1925 at Hans Hoffmann’s Schule für Moderne Kunst (School for Modern Art), taught by Hofmann himself. He became Hoffman’s assistant at The School for Modern Art’s summer sessions at Capri (1925-27) and Saint Tropez (1928-29). But the school was closed in 1932 due to hostilities from the Nazis Party.

Rupprecht did not continue down the modernist road. His style changed to a more realist-orient approach that maintained the principles of outlined forms and abstraction. This final style was closer to Charles Burchfield and other American Scene painters. The titles of Rupprecht’s works exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago between 1916 and 1948 suggest recognizable (if not strictly realistic) images, such as The Inlet and Setting Sail. It is possible that he was conforming to the dictates of the Public Works of Art Project during the 1930s, when government officials advised artists to submit only realistic works. Rupprecht was a member of the Chicago Society of Artists and he worked for the Federal Arts Project Easel Division until 1936.

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