William Prior “The House That Jack Built”

William Prior “The House That Jack Built”


Labelled in large painted script on the back , "The House that Jack Built", this oil on paperboard landscape/fancy piece, is also signed and dated in painted block letters
"W M Prior 1851"
on its original upper strainer bar.

The scene portrayed, although probably painted in Boston, appears to be on the Hudson River and shows a Greek revival house with six white columns suppporting a mansard-like roof and a tower on or behind it. Six large potted shrubs line the walkway to the house. In the distance sale boats float on the river and a road to one side leads to a couple walking towards an arched opening to the river and probably an unseen landing. The sun sets on this scene, and pink-hued white clouds rise over the water and far shore.

Rarity here is incredible. Although hundreds of Prior portaits exist and his landscapes are mentioned in his advertisements of the period, the actual works fall into the"heard of but never seen" category, until the recent exhibition of his work at the Fenimore Museum in Cooperstown, New York, "Artist and Visioary: William Mattew Prior Revealed" and its accompaning catalogue by by Jacquelyn Oak and Gwendolyn Dubois Shaw. Here an unsigned but attributed example from the museum's collection was illustrated on p. 28. A second example was also shown, was also from their collection.

19 1/2 x 23 inches unframed and 23 x 27 inches in period gilded frame. Condition report available.