TC Steele Landscape

This wonderful TC Steele (1847 – 1926) landscape was brought in recently. It allowed us the chance to get a toy out that we don’t often use, the black light. It allows us to see old in-painting, areas that are much darker than the original paint. The main ailment of this painting is the wax reline that was likely done in the 1950s. It is failing. Portions have cracked and fallen away. Some areas heated the thick brushstrokes enough that they melted into a flat surface. Excess wax has accumulated a large amount of dirt. The wax even migrated along the edges of the canvas. On top of the paint surface, the varnish has yellowed, is very dirty, and underneath is a spatter of black dots that we believe to be paint. Along the edges, hidden by the frame, were areas of loss.

This restoration will require of us to use a variety of techniques–a fun, challenging opportunity, and one where the process will be as rewarding as the end result. Stay tuned for more…

Theodore Clement Steele is considered to be one of the finest of the American Impressionist painters to work in the Midwest. A leading member of the Hoosier School painters, Steele was a native in Indiana who studied at the Indiana School of Art, as well as the Royal Academy in Munich. Upon returning to the U.S., Steele co-founded the Indianapolis School of Art with William Forsyth. In these early years, Steele’s paintings were very much in the dark, dramatic style of the Munich School. It was only after Steele began exploring the Indiana countryside for inspiration that his palette would brighten. By 1893, Steele was showing, to critical acclaim, Impressionist landscapes at the Chicago Exposition. In 1906 Steele settled in the remote region of Brown County, Indiana, where he painted exclusively in the pure Impressionist style he’d adopted.

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