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Overview

Worthington Whittredge was one of the most artistically experimental painters of America's Hudson River school. A contemporary of other key school figures such as Jasper Francis Cropsey, Sanford Robinson Gifford, and Frederic Edwin Church, Whittredge created landscapes that were still critically and popularly admired in the 1870s and 1880s, long after the earlier style had fallen out of fashion. Unlike many of his fellow painters, Whittredge had firsthand knowledge of European landscape painting, and he was especially receptive to the aesthetics of French Barbizon and impressionist art. In painting this radiant and freely brushed work, the artist demonstrated his mastery of these newer styles of landscape painting and also created one of the outstanding American landscapes of the era.

By the time Whittredge painted Second Beach, it had long been one of the favored recreational sites of wealthy Americans who built their lavish summer homes in the town of Newport, Rhode Island. Here we see fashionably dressed figures testing the waters and enjoying the splendors of a beautiful day; in the background a horse-drawn carriage ferries others from one end of the beach to the other. Stopped in time and fixed indelibly through the clarity of artistic vision, this scene was recorded by Whittredge with a sensibility that perfectly matched its ineffable beauty.

Inscription

lower left: W.Whittredge.

Provenance

Thomas Barlow Walker [1840-1928], Minneapolis, by 1925; T.B. Walker Foundation, Minneapolis; gift 1976 to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; (sale, Sotheby's, New York, 24 May 1989, no. 31); private collection; Juliana [Mrs. Peter] Terian, New York; purchased 27 May 2004 through (David Nisinson Fine Art, New York) by NGA.



Exhibition History
1909
Possibly Exhibition of Paintings and Sketches by Worthington Whittredge, The Century Club, New York, 1909, no. 3, as Bishop Berkeley's Seat--Newport, R.I..
1945
The Hudson River School and the Early American Landscape Tradition, Art Institute of Chicago; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1945, no. 163, repro., as Third Beach, Newport.
1948
The Coast and the Sea. A Survey of American Marine Painting, Brooklyn Museum, 1948-1949, no. 128, as Third Beach, Newport.
1953
Painters of Ohio's Past, Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Ohio; Dayton Art Institute; Akron Art Institute; Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art, 1953, no. 41, as Third Beach Newport.
1957
Early New Jersey Artists, 18th and 19th Centuries, Newark Museum, 1957, no. 104, as Third Beach, Newport.
1960
The Hudson River School, University of North Carolina, Raleigh, 1960-1962.
1963
Four Centuries of American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1963-1964, unnumbered catalogue, as Third Beach, Newport.
1965
The Seashore: Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 1965, no. 35, repro., as Third Beach, Newport.
1969
Worthington Whittredge (1820-1910): A Retrospective Exhibition of an American Artist, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica; Albany Institute of History and Art; Cincinnati Art Museum, 1969-1970, no. 30, repro. (shown only at Utica).
1970
The American Arts: A Celebration, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1970.
1976
American Marine Painting, Virginia Museum, Richmond; Mariner's Museum, Newport News, 1976, no. 38, repro.
1980
American Light: The Luminist Movement 1850-1875, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1980, fig. 140.
1982
Quiet Places: The American Landscapes of Worthington Whittredge, Adam Davidson Galleries, Washington, D.C., 1982, no. 31, repro.
1986
The Eden of America: Rhode Island Landscapes, 1820-1920, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, 1986, no. 27, repro.
1987
American Paradise: The World of the Hudson River School, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1987-1988, unnumbered catalogue, repro.
1990
Worthington Whittredge Retrospective, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1990.
Bibliography
1942
Whittredge, Worthington. The Autobiography of Worthington Whittredge 1820-1910. Ed. John I.H. Baur. New York, 1942 (reissued 1969): repro.
1945
Sweet, Frederick A. "Painters of the Hudson River School." Antiques XLVII, no. 3 (March 1945): 160, fig. 6, repro.
1964
Sadayoshi, Omoto. "Old and Modern Drawings; Berkeley and Whittredge at Newport." The Art Quarterly XXVII, no. 1 (1964): 42-56, fig. 8, as Third Beach, Newport.
1965
Sadayoshi, Omoto. "The Sketchbooks of Worthington Whittredge." Art Journal 24, no. 4 (Summer 1965): 334-335, fig. 14, as Third Beach, Newport.
1968
Wilmerding, John. A History of American Marine Painting. Boston and Toronto, 1968: 77, fig. 51.
1969
Baur, John I.H. The Autobiography of Worthington Whittredge 1820-1910. New York, 1969: repro. opp. 51.
1970
Butler, Joseph T. "The American Way with Art." The Connoisseur 173, no. 696 (February 1970): 146-147, fig. 8.
1978
The Romantic Vision: 19th Century American Landscape Painting in the Walker Art Center Permanent Collection. Minneapolis, 1978: 13, 14, fig. 10.
1986
Van Siclen, Bill. "Through Artist's Eyes." Sunday Journal Magazine [Providence, Rhode Island] (26 January 1986): 8, repro.
1987
Wilmerding, John. American Marine Painting. Rev. ed. of A History of American Marine Painting, 1968. New York, 1987: 57, fig. 47.
1989
Janson, Anthony F. Worthington Whittredge. New York, 1989: 164-165, fig. 123, pl. XV.
1990
Danto, Arthur C. Encounters & Reflections. Art in the Historical Present. New York, 1990: 142-143.
2004
Kelly, Franklin. "Worthington Whittredge, Second Beach, Newport." Bulletin / National Gallery of Art, no. 32 (Fall 2004): 19-20, repro.