A traditional pastoral landscape with a small town at the foot of hills in the background. There is a lake in the foreground. The work is framed in a thin gold wooden frame. On the canvas stretcher the initials A. V. Tack is written in pencil.
Augustus Vincent Tack, a painter of portraits, murals, and abstractions, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1870. From 1923 until his death in 1949, he produced approximately seventy-eight abstract paintings. He has been described as "a Symbolist artist who entertained Romantic concepts about the relationship of man, God, and nature." His family was Roman Catholic, and Tack attended the Jesuit School St. Francis Xavier in New York City, graduating with an A.B. degree in 1890. He then began to study art in New York under H. Siddons Mowbray, John Twachtman and John La Farge. This program of working with individual artists whose work he admired developed his talent so quickly that a painting he, age 19, sent to the Society of American Artists in 1889 received the highest rating and a place of honor. In the early 1890s, Tack made a trip to Europe to tour and to study in Paris under Luc-Olivier Merson at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He also visited Claude Monet's studio at Giverny. Beginning in the 1920s, he painted murals for various Catholic churches and government buildings, including the New Parliament Building, Winnipeg, Canada (1920); and the Nebraska State Capitol at Lincoln, Nebraska (1928). During this time he was much sought after by religious and civic institutions for mural commissions. He also became respected for his skills at portraiture. After World War II, he painted many of the significant military figures including General George C. Marshall. This portrait, circa 1949, is in the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Tack's portraits and murals were traditional in style, but during the inter-war years, he also painted a number of mystical landscapes and abstract works on the themes of religion and creation. Inspired by what he saw on his many trips to the Western United States, "Tack also based his compositions on photographs of the Western terrain, blowing them up ten to fifteen times their original size and tracing from them, applying the image to the canvas through the traditional mural technique of pouncing.
H 11.5 in. x W 16.5 in. x D 1 in.
Dimensions without Frame
H 10 in x W 15 in x D .5 in.