Walter Castle Keith Winter Landscape

This painting suffers from heavy dirt particulates over the surface, areas of damage and loss in the linen, and a dried out linen that has caused it to lose its structural integrity. Careful cleaning removed the surface particulates with quite the effect, as can be the case with winter scenes. Prior to this, the lady in the center of the composition was easy to overlook; her color and the color of the trees kind of blended together. Now she stands out and with a figure in the painting the tone is more mysterious and engaging. Next the painting will be re-lined and the holes in the canvas addressed and then final touches to the surface. This extra time with the piece will give us a chance to ask the lady, “Where are you going?” But will she answer us? Stay tuned for more…

Walter Castle Keith (1863-1927) was born in Penfield near Rochester N.Y. on February 18, 1863.  His father was a railroad engineer, and as a young man Keith worked as a fireman for his father on Engine # 573 between Syracuse N. Y and Niagara Falls.  In 1889 Keith began his art career by studying drawing at the Paul Nauen School in Munich, which was then regarded to be one of the most prominent schools for art in that famous old city.  In addition, he studied in London, Paris and sketched for a summer in Italy. These European experiences were fruitful as one of  his paintings won a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition in 1895.

In 1896 Keith returned to America establishing a studio in Syracuse N.Y. , becoming president of the Syracuse Art Club and starting the Syracuse Sketch Art Club.  Two of his paintings are currently found in the Onondaga Historical Association of that city.  After multiple trips to Europe, Keith in 1901 decided to reside in the Netherlands.  He spent some years in Amsterdam, where two of his paintings were acquired by the Stedelijk Museum.  He also painted in The Hague at Laren an North Brabant.  He always had a special affinity for Brabant where he lived and painted in a small peasant village of Heeze until 1921.  After that time, he returned to America living in Toledo, Ohio which was one of his favorite towns, and his work was greatly appreciated there.

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