30. Robert Walter Weir
(1803-1889)

Study for a Monument in a Hudson River Valley Landscape

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Weir, Study for a Monument

Study for a Monument in a Hudson River Valley Landscape

Original watercolor, 1843, 248 x 411 mm. Finished watercolor on heavy wove paper, signed and dated; small paper cracks in the lower left corner. This is a mysterious sheet for several reasons. The monument itself has no inscription or other indication of its purpose, suggesting that it is a generalized prospective design for such a structure. We have found no evidence that such a monument was actually built. And, finally, we have found no reference to any project of this nature designed by Weir. And yet, the sheet is clearly signed by him. The presence of two figures in mourning dress (?), suggests that the monument was of a funerary or memorial nature. Weir is known primarily as an early Hudson River School painter. He was also drawing master at West Point Military Academy from 1834 to 1876, where his later most illustrious student was James Abbott McNeill Whistler (from 1851 to 1854). Weir was also the father of the well-known American painter and etcher J. Alden Weir. A handsomely drawn and painted curiosity in search of historical information.

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