Theodore Clement Steele, American, 1847–1926
Oil on canvas
50.8 cm x 86.36 cm | 20 in x 34 in
Framed: 68.58 cm x 104.14 cm | 27 in x 41 in
Signed and dated lower right, private collection
Shared with permission, Fine Estate Art, Indianapolis
T.C. Steele returned to Indianapolis in 1873 from Battle Creek, Michigan where he was doing commissioned paintings. He began painting portraits of wealthy Indianapolis residents, many can be found on this virtual gallery. Some of these individuals, including local art patron Herman Lieber supported the artist and his family though funding his five year of study in Munich, Germany (1880 – 1885). Steele and his wife Mary (Libbie) left for Europe in 1880, with their three children, Brandt, Daisy and Shirley.
Steele chose Munich as it was cheaper than Paris. “When Steele returned to Indianapolis, he painted portraits and landscapes, many were dark and dramatic, in the style known as the Munich School”.1
This landscape painting features two women near a stream and reflects the darker tonality of Steele’s style while studying in Germany. The painting received recent restoration; original frame has been restored and re-leafed. This painting has been in a private collection for the past seventy years.
1Gerdts, William H., and T. C. Steele. Theodore Clement Steele, an American Master of Light. New York, NY: Chameleon Books, 1995.