Theodore Clement Steele, American, 1847–1926
Oil on canvas
35.56 cm x 53.34 cm | 14 in x 21 in
Signed and dated lower right, T.C. Steele / 1889
Courtesy of the Indianapolis of Art at Newfields
Gift of John Jay Hansman
During the summer of 1887, Allen B. Fletcher, who was an original subscriber to help fund Steele’s training at the Royal Academy of Art in Munich (1880-1885), commissioned the artist to paint landscapes around the Fletcher family home in the Green Mountains of Ludlow, Vermont.
“Steele divided his summer’s work in Vermont between expansive views of the Green Mountains and a series of small forest interiors. In three of the five recorded paintings of this second series, a small brook runs to the foreground beneath a grove of trees. In both Brook in Woods and Laura’s Nook, a solitary figure rests in the shade, sheltered from the flare of a sunlit field beyond.” ¹
“Laura” presumably refers to Allen M. Fletcher’s sister Laura K. Fletcher Hyde.¹
This painting featured would have been painted after Steele returned from his summer at the Fletchers’ home in Ludlow, Vermont, as it does not feature a solitary figure, and the date is two years after his summer in Vermont (signed/dated 1889). The painting could have also been painted on a return trip to the Fletcher’s home in Vermont. (See note at bottom). ²
Also visit the T.C. Steele Virtual Gallery and view Okemo Mountain, a landscape Steele painted during the summer of 1887 while staying at the Fletcher’s in Ludlow, Vermont. This virtual gallery showcase also includes some very interesting background on the area and the Fletcher Ludlow mansion, known as “Castle Hill”. Today you can stand in the same area and see the view of the Okemo Mountain, however today it has ski runs!
¹ Krause, Martin. The Passage – Return of Indiana Painters from Germany: 1880-1905. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. ISBN-13: 978-0936260525
² Note: There is another painting called Laura’s Nook, painted 2 years earlier (see image below)
43.18 cm x 68.58 cm |1 7 in x 27 in
Mr. and Mrs. Leo J. Kuzma
This painting depicts a similar scene but features a lady sitting on the bank of the creek (see footnote ²). This painting is featured in The Hoosier Group, Five American Painters, published 1985, Eckert Publications, Indianapolis, Indiana. ISBM: 0-9614992-0-6