Wednesday, 19 December 2012

CELEBRATIONS ~ A Dream of Christmas Eve

Some beautiful Christmas images from one of our favourite artists, George Hitchcock.

A Dream of Christmas Eve by George Hitchcock

A Dream of Christmas Eve
signed and inscribed 'To A. Fich with the compliments of G Hitchcock' (lower left)
oil on canvas
11¼ x 14¾ in. (28.5 x 37.4 cm.)

This painting was sold on 4 October 2000 by Christies New York for $5,640 from an estimate of between $6,000 and 8,000.  (Sale 8441, Lot 35).

A Dream of Christmas
George Hitchcock
Private collection
Painting - oil on canvas

George Hitchcock (1850-1913)

George Hitchcock is not as well known as he ought to be for his work was enlightening and ethereal. Perhaps because he was an American artist who spent much of his career in the Netherlands he did not become recognised by any one group of admirers. Born in 1850 in Providence Rhode Island,   Hitchcock graduated from Brown University, and from Harvard Law School in 1874. A descendant of Roger Williams (the founder of Rhode Island), he practised law for several years in New York before deciding in 1879 to become an artist. Travelling to Europe he studied in Paris with Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre, in Düsseldorf, and in The Hague with H. W. Mesdag. and in 1890 set up his own Art Summer School in the little-known Dutch village of Egmond-Binnen. He wintered in Paris, and spent the summers in Egmond. He continued doing this until 1905, when he married the English painter Cecil Jay and settled in Paris year round. He died in a houseboat in the harbor of Marken in the Netherlands in 1913.

His friends included Gari Melchers, J. J. Shannon, John Singer Sargent, Fokko Tadama and Thamina Groeneveld. George Hitchcock was a gifted painter. At the time he arrived in the Netherlands artists had yet to record its colorful bulb fields on canvas, which he set out to do. The light of the Lowlands and its effect on his subject matter captivated him. Moreover, Hitchcock was drawn to the Netherlands because of the country and its people, and portrayed its landscape as well as the Dutch in traditional costume. In his day he was a highly regarded artist, enjoying the patronage of the likes of Emperor Frans Joseph and Empress Elisabeth ("Sisi") of Austria.

— read the text about him by Peter J. H. van den Berg from The Victorian Web

He returned to the USA only occasionally in later years. Hitchcock’s style, similar to Impressionism, has been appreciated more in Europe than in the USA. A good example of his style is the Blessed Mother (1892; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.). He received some recognition in the USA, such as election to associate membership in the National Academy of Design, New York, and he was the first American to be made a member of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, and the first to become an officer of the Order of Franz Josef. He was also a chevalier of the Légion d’honneur.

George Hitchcock, Annunciation Lilies, circa 1887 

The Annunciation Lilies, 1887
Oil on canvas
158.8 x 204.5 cm (62 1/2 x 80 1/2 in.)
Signed, lower left: "Goe Hitchcock/ op xxxvi 1887"

Potter Palmer Collection, 1930.1289
Mr. and Mrs. Potter Palmer, Chicago, 1890; bequeathed to The Art Institute of Chicago, 1930.

George Hitchcock, The Flight Into Egypt, 1892


  1. What a beautiful post - this hectic time of year needs all the serenity it can muster, and classic, immensely lovely images like this can certainly help go a long way in that regard.

    ♥ Jessica

  2. Beautiful paintings, thank you for sharing these.
    Happy winter solstice xx

  3. Beautiful paintings! A Merry Christmas!

    Madelief x

  4. Merry. Christmas and happy new year !!!
    Bonne fete !!!
    xxx Maria xxx

  5. There are so many artists of this period that I don't know. I really like his work, thanks for introducing me to it.

  6. Gosh! these are beautiful...I could happily look at 'A Dream of Christmas all year round'.
    Thank you!


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