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Sledding in Ipswich, Massachusetts, circa 1908 -1915 Oil on canvas, 19 1/8 x 23 1/4 inches, signed lower left: Theodore Wendel
Theodore Wendel was one of the first American artists in Europe to meet Claude Monet, and to fully embrace the lighter palette and atmospheric painting of the Impressionists. Wendel adapted this style to capture the saltmarshes, fields and charming village of Ipswich, Massachusetts, his own personal Giverny, away from the hubbub of urban life. Sledding in Ipswich, Massachusetts captures a trio of children enjoying a winter pastime under a canopy of trees alongside snow-laden homes, the scene crowned by the distinctive red steeple of the First Parish Church. The painting was inscribed on the back ‘To my friend Paxton,’ most likely referring to William Paxton, the Boston painter and fellow instructor at the Cowles School of Art in Boston, and reveals Wendel’s talent for rendering light and atmosphere even during the coldest of seasons.