"Painted circa 1920 or 21. An upright woodland winter interior on a gray day with mist weaving through the woods painted from the window of my first little studio 'Redgate' (the first one to burn) just following the time when I had received the First Hallgarten Prize at the N. A. D. in 1919 when I painted many woodland interiors of similar type. Bought in the early 1920's by Mr. and Mrs. Wm. D. Vanderbilt of 527 West 121st Street, N. Y. C. according to them for their 3 young sons 'to grow up with'. Later they purchased a chalk drawing for each one of the sons as a wedding present when each one was married, a nice idea indeed!"
"Only a few of the paintings impresses us with the individuality of the artist. Of Winter Mist by Robert Strong Woodward---with its snowbound brook and delicate arabesque of intertwined branches---we must make an exception."
"...The quite similar Winter Mist painting is centered around some young oaks with the leaves still clinging, and a foreground pool to the edge of which the thawing snow still closely clings, with the hazy effect of much evergreen growth in the semidistance..."
Signed: Ernest Newton Bagg
Following the RSW signature on this painting is the date 1922. In the RSW diary notes he states that he painted it circa 1920-21. Note, however, that he began compiling his painting diary in the late 1930's so much of the early comments are from memory and are not always accurate.
The first RSW studio Redgate where this painting was made, looking out the rear window into the woods, was burned to the ground in December of 1922. Since this is a winter scene dated as being painted in 1922, it must have been one of the very last paintings he made in this studio. Also, the records show that about 50 oil paintings were destroyed in that fire.
This quintessential Redgate painting is one of two paintings with the same pond and winter scene. The The website has identified four sets of wintry water scenes, involving 11 paintings. This particular piece has just one sibling, a signed but unamed painting seen to the left. They were all painted at a time when this practice was common for Woodward, with the exception of Evening Mists which was repainted in 1945 from an earlier version which was promptly destroyed afterwards. He often made multiple versions of paintings that were either successful in selling quickly or held a particular sentimental value to him. After the 1930s, it was rare for Woodward to make multiple versions of a painting unless by request or commission.
To the right: A letter written by RSW regarding this painting. It is written in RSW's cousin Florence Haeberle's handwriting because at the time RSW couldn't write it himself. Note his reference to not being able to hold a brush for more than two years.