Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971 Santa Paula, CA)

oil on canvas laid to board
20'' H x 24'' W

  • Provenance: Estate, Chicago, IL
  • Exhibited: Chicago Galleries Association, Chicago, IL, n.d. (see verso label)
  • Notes: Painted in a riot of pattern and color, ''White Peacocks and Cherry Blossoms'' is a very strong example of Jessie Arms Botke's work and showcases the artist's career-long focus on the white peacock. The painting's tightly patterned composition and the artist's exacting execution of the millefleur, cherry blossoms, and lacy peacock plumage recall Botke's early experience working as a studio artist at Herter Looms in New York where she painted cartoons in preparation for tapestry production. In the present work, Botke plays with color moving the eye from the stark white peacocks to the saturated contrast between the cascading cherry blossoms and the azure sky. Birds, particularly the white peacock, were a singular obsession of the artist and she wrote about this focus in a 1949 article for ''American Artist'' as quoted in P. Trenton and D.E. Solon, ''Birds, Boughs & Blossoms, Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971)'': ''My interest in birds was not sentimental, it was always what sort of pattern they made, and the white peacock was so appealing because it was a simple, but beautiful white form to be silhouetted against dark background, and the texture and pattern of the lacy tail broke the harshness of the white mass without loosing [sic] the simplicity of the pattern. For a long time I couldn't get away from white and near white birds, geese, ducks and finally cockatoos'' (P. Trenton and D.E. Solon, ''Birds, Boughs & Blossoms, Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971)'', Carmel, CA, 1994, p. 17)
  • Condition: Visual: Generally good condition. Blacklight: One scattered line of tiny dots of minor touch-up on the left peacock. A few scattered lines of tiny dots of minor touch-up on the right peacock with a concentrated area of tiny spots in the right center near the edge. A small area of tiny dots of touch-up on the pond.

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October 22, 2013 6:30 PM PDT
Pasadena, CA, US

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