A magnificent depiction of the decisive battle in the Texas Revolution could bring $120,000 or more when it is sold in Heritage Auctions
' Texas Art Signature® Auction May 21.
Philip Russell Goodwin's Sam Houston at San Jacinto, 1907 (estimate: $80,000-120,000), from the Estate of S. Hallock du Pont, Jr., shows more action and drama than is usually found in the artist's works. Sam Houston is the dominant figure, waving a saber and carrying a pistol in his waistband as he leads his charging troops into battle. Part of what makes this painting exceptional is the fact that Houston leads the charge and holds the highest physical position on the canvas, but is shown in the distance. In the foreground, a line of frontiersmen surges forward to engage in the battle. Henry Millard led the infantry regiment under George W. Hockley shown in this painting.
"This is an exceptional painting in which the artist really pushes his own boundaries," Heritage Auctions Texas Art Director Atlee Phillips said. "Goodwin often created images of outdoorsmen who suddenly are presented with the need to make a quick decision, such as when facing an aggressive or dangerous animal. In this painting, the viewer is brought into the action is at happens during one of the most significant battles in Texas history."
Goodwin captured the wide spectrum of soldiers involved in the battle, including the figure closest to the viewer, dressed in a Cherokee-style fringed hunting shirt perhaps a nod to Houston's time among the Cherokees and beaded moccasins. The coonskin cap worn by a soldier directly in front of Houston could be a reminder of David Crocket and the defenders of the Alamo. The Texas flag flies high above the battle, and Texian army soldiers carry flintlock rifles, powder horns and shot pouches.
Renowned Texas artist Julian Onderdonk is represented twice in the auction, with Sunlight Before a Shower, Bandera, Texas, 1921-22 (estimate: $30,000-50,000) and Winter Morning, 1909 (estimate: $20,000-30,000). The artist learned his enthusiasm for sketching and drawing from his father, Robert Jenkins Onderdonk, and studied several prominent artists, including Kenyon Cox, Frank DuMond and Robert Henri. After studying in New York, Julian Onderdonk returned to San Antonio in 1909. He is revered for his interpretations of the Southwest landscape like the pair offered in this auction. His presentations of bluebonnet fields, cactus and live oaks with Spanish moss extended his reach far beyond the borders of the Lone Star State.
Donald Stanley Vogel is known for intimate genre paintings or images of ladies and gardens, but this sale includes The Citadel, 1946 (estimate: $8,000-12,000) is a rare cityscape by the artist. Early views of Dallas are always popular, and the image offered here captures Vogel's own style of "magic realism."
Charles T. Williams' Hanging Thing, Hanging Light from the Bavinger House, 1964 (estimate: $6,000-9,000) was given to Eugene and Nancy Bavinger in 1964 by the artist, who Vogel reportedly once called "the first truly creative sculptor of substance of modern Texas." An elite mid-century artist, Williams has created many fabulous metal doors, door handles windchimes and lamps that still can be found around Fort Worth, and will be featured in a show later this year in the Amon Carter Museum.
Kelly Fearing Expectancy of the Day, The Shape of the Morning Series, 1967-68 (estimate: $6,000-8,000) is one of six lots in the auction by the artist of whom George Bernard Shaw reportedly once said, "Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say, why not?" Fearing expressed wonder and admiration for the physical world around him while also questioning his place in it, frequently invoking the imagery and symbolism of sea and sky, earth and rock, and the life cycle. He enjoyed statewide respect and the enduring support from scholars and collectors alike.
Charles Taylor Bowling Turtle Creek Bridge(estimate: $6,000-8,000) is from the prominent East Texas artist who did not begin painting until he was recovering from an illness in his mid-30s. Bowling was a member of the infamous "Dallas Nine," a group of artists that made Dallas one of the most dynamic centers of American Regionalism during the 1930s and 1940s, in part by turning away from traditional subjects of Texas art. Instead of the portraits, grand historical events, impressionistic landscapes and idealized genre scenes previous generations of Texas artists, they focused on the everyday people and places of Texas, like this bride in Dallas.
Fred Darge's Two Green Heron, Texas (estimate: $6,000-8,000) comes from the artist who lost his job as a New York commercial artist during the Great Depression. Darge moved to Texas, where he spent the warm months traveling in West Texas between Big Bend, El Paso, the Davis Mountains and north into New Mexico, and then spending the cold months would then be spent finishing the paintings he had started earlier in the year. Darge became the foremost chronicler of ranch life in Texas, and is beloved to this day for his paintings of wildlife.
Other top lots include, but are not limited to:
Olin Travis Dawn for Someone(estimate: $5,000-7,000)
Fred Darge In the Army, Self-Portrait(estimate: $4,000-6,000)