Quick Reference

Time Period:
Between 1920 and 1923

Location:
Believed to be, Apple Valley Road
Ashfield, MA

Medium:
Oil on Canvas

Type:
Landscape

Gallery:
Trees

Size:
23 x 23

Exhibited:
Not likely (no name or record)

Purchased:
Unknown

Provenance:
NA

Noteworthy:

We first learned of this painting in 1993 (9 yrs prior to the start of the website) when it came up for auction in New Hampshire. They named it "Across the Valley" and it has stuck despite having no name written on its stretcher. Technically this painting is Unnnamed.

On the back of the canvas is a charcoal sketch of what is believed to be an early version of Through the May Hills

Related Links


Featured Artwork: Unnamed: Across the Valley

Additional Notes


Picture of this painting from 1997

We first learned of this painting in 1997 (5 yrs prior to the start of the website) when it came up for auction in New Hampshire. They named it "Across the Valley" and it has stuck despite having no name written on its stretcher. It is possible that the auction house used the 1970 published catalogue of RSW complete works list compiled by the Deerfield Academy's American Studies Group to determine its name. Unfortunately for them, this painting happens to be the ONLY painting Woodward did of this particular size (23 x 23) and so they could not find an exact match. Except, that in and around the same time period (1920 - '23) a painting titled "Across the Valley" was on that list. This was clearly a valley painting and so we believe they took the time period and appropriate-ness of the subject and assigned it.



The frame and painting today

In the 20 years since first learning of this painting, we have had only one picture of it taken from the New Hamphire catalog and have never known its owner or been in its presence. In that time we have asked a lot of questions, for instance... given its unusual size (for RSW) could this painting have been cut down? That all change this year. It came up for auction at the Skinner Inc. Auctions in July 2018 and purchased. The owner contacted us and graciously invited us to come and see the painting in person. There was no evidence it had been cut-down, in fact, the quality of the stretcher and its frame suggest that this painting might have been a commissioned painting sold by RSW out of his studio. It is in excellent condition. The frame has extraordinary mill work and compliments the painting well. It is also, arguably, one of the most impressionistic paintings of RSW's entire catalogue.



RSW did sign the painting
with his trademark red "S" (bottom left)

On the back of the stretcher is a charcoal sketch of what we believe is an early version, though from a slightly different vantage point, Through the Hills in May, which we know was painted from somewhere on Apple Valley Road, Ashfield, MA. Could this have been painted from the same road? It is possible, it is clearly an orchard valley, featuring a ancient, gnarled apple tree in bloom (Through the Hills in May, is also a spring painting with apple trees in bloom). SEE OUR SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISION BELOW...




Back stretcher with sketch
Back stretcher with sketch