Works by Renoir, Potthast and Grandma Moses Highlight Heritage’s American & European Art Auction

Three paintings by Edward Henry Potthast, discovered in a Texas collection after 90 years, and two Pierre-Auguste Renoir works are expected to lead Heritage’s November 15 American & European Art Signature Auction. Offered online and at Heritage’s Design District Annex, 1518 Slocum St., the sale is a carefully curated selection of American Masters, ranging from Andrew Wyeth and Grandma Moses to Milton Avery and Maxfield Parrish.

Renoir’s Gabrielle en Rouge is one of nearly 200 paintings of Gabrielle Renard, his favorite model, and is expected to bring $500,000+. “Gabrielle en Rouge from 1903 is an incredible work for such a late period in the artist’s long career,” said Brian Roughton, Managing Director of Fine Art at Heritage.


It is highlighted by a second Renoir, a fragment of a larger composition, recently rediscovered in a Michigan collection. Buste de Jeune Fille measures 6-1/4 x 5 inches and is expected to bring $30,000+. The fragment appears at auction following extensive research by Heritage’s fine art staff and authentication by the Wildenstein Institute, the world’s primary authentication body for Renoir’s works. It was previously identified in a photograph published in dealer Ambroise Vollard’s 1918 compendium catalog and will now be included in the Wildenstein’s Catalogue Critique Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Three works by Potthast were recently discovered in a Sherman, Texas, collection. Prized for his depictions of beachgoers enjoying holidays on the coast, the three paintings will be included in Cincinnati dealer Mary Ran’s forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Potthast’s work, Roughton said. The first, Children at the Shore, is expected to bring $300,000+; Beach Scene may bring $100,000+; and A Maine Fisherman is expected to sell for $20,000+.

Among the American impressionists is Robert Spencer’s A River Mill Town. “This important work and fantastic find, is one of the few known 30 x 36 inch works not in private hands or a public collection of this subject,” Roughton said. A River Mill Town is a grand view of village life perhaps inspired by the landscape and culture of Bucks County along the Delaware canal. It is expected to bring $150,000+.

A rare work by the popular Grandma Moses, The Old Checkered House in Cambridge Valley, may bring $80,000+. It is one of the most famous of Moses’ series of the historic inn on the Cambridge Turnpike in Washington County near her childhood home. Painted from memory, Grandma Moses created more than 20 depictions of the inn from 1941 to 1959. As a youth in the 1870s, she remembered seeing the landmark building with its bold façade of fourteen-inch red-and-white checkers. The subject was deeply personal for her: By the time she painted he Old Checkered House in Cambridge Valley, the house had ceased to exist for nearly 40 years. This work includes a distant steam locomotive, referencing the 1870s when she would have visited the inn, and winter recreation, notably children joyfully sledding in the foreground.

Carrying provenance from the Brook Astor collection, Andrew Wyeth’s Coastal Survey is expected to bring $80,000+. Painted very directly, a wind-buffeted fabric forming a rustic-looking tent shelters a geodetic survey marker Wyeth observed on the coast of Maine near Port Clyde during the summer of 1955. Coastal Survey, painted not far from the Wyeths’ summer home, has been in private hands from the time it was painted and has never been publicly exhibited or offered at auction.

Hermann Herzog’s commanding Lazy Days, Everglades is unique for its subject and size. “This painting is one of Herzog’s most sought after subjects, the Florida wilderness,” Roughton said. “This particular work is even more rare and collectable because it is considered one of the largest Florida subjects painted by the artist.” At an impressive 62 inches by 52 inches, Lazy Day Everglades stands to bring $50,000+.

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