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Two original letters from Payne to Mr. & Mrs. Strong, a rare copy of the book, Edgar Alwin Payne and His Work, and other ephemera relating to this painting will accompany the lot.

Solitude’s Enchantment depicts a southern view of the north face of Temple Crag, High Sierra and is a masterwork considered by scholars as one of Payne’s most important High Sierra paintings.

Describing this painting the authors of Edgar Alwin Payne and His Work wrote, “The necromancy of noonday light hold a fascination for the landscape painter that he cannot escape. He is forever trying to perform the same magic on canvas. Sometimes he succeeds. Payne’s success with Solitude’s Enchantment is amazing. Here is nature—here is light—seen through a temperament. It is an art of the highest. The mountain will shows amethyst of a crystal clarity. The lower cliffs are gray-pink with sunlight. The vivid green of trees and grass makes the entire canvas sparkle in light.”

Solitude’s Enchantment was commissioned by Marjorie Hall Strong and Alvah Griffin Strong, the grandson of Henry A. Strong, co-founder and president of Eastman Kodak (tenure 1880 until his death in 1919). It was passed down through marriage in the Strong-Wehle family, founders of the Strong Memorial Hospital, Strong Auditorium at the University of Rochester, Geneseo Brewery and Geneseo Country Village Museum in Mumford, New York. It remained in the family by descent until 2004. On loan from the Strongs, Solitude’s Enchantment was included in several major exhibitions in the 1920s, including one at Stendahl Galleries. It bears noting the importance of Stendahl Galleries to the art scene in Los Angeles for over fifty years. Earl Stendahl began selling the works of local painters and opened his first gallery at the inauguration of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1921. Stendahl Galleries emerged as one of the most innovative and influential art galleries in Southern California. By the 1930s, the gallery had established its reputation as the premier dealer in painters of the California Impressionist School. William Wendt, Guy Rose, Edgar Payne, Joseph Kleitsch and Nicolai Fechin were part of the early Stendahl stable of artists. Representation by Stendahl Galleries gave artists international fame and increased fortune. In the gallery’s later years they sold works by modern artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall and Paul Klee. Earl Stendahl was known to advise several major art collectors of the day including Nelson Rockefeller, William Randolph Hearst, Thomas Gilcrease and curators from many museums including the Louvre.

PROVENANCE
The Artist
Mr. and Mrs. Alvah G. Strong, Rochester, NY 1921
The Estate of John L. Wehle, Scottsville, NY, by descent
[Cottone Auctions, Geneseo, NY 2004]
Private Collection, WA 2004

EXHIBITED
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, February 1922
Stendahl Art Galleries, Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles,CA, 1926
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, Feb 11 - May 6, 2012
Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA, Jun 3 - Oct 14, 2012
Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK, Dec 1, 2012 - Mar 24, 2013

LITERATURE
Antony Anderson and Fred S. Hogue, Edgar Alwin Payne and His Work (Los Angeles, CA: Stendahl Art Galleries, 1926), p 31, illustrated halftone
Scott A. Shields, PhD and Patricia Trenton, PhD, Edgar Payne The Scenic Journey (Petaluma, CA: Pomegranate Communications, 2012), pp 81, 84, 115, 235, 255, illustrated

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