This work by Charles Sheeler shows a dead tree in front of a bright blue and green background.

Charles Sheeler

American, 1883–1965

Tree and Landscape, 1883–1965

Tempera on paper on board

15⅝ x 13½ inches

Signed and dated lower right

One of the founders of American modernism, Sheeler achieved success as both a painter and a photographer. He once said, “Photography is nature seen from the eyes outward, painting from the eyes inward.” Born in Philadelphia, Sheeler studied at the city’s School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He showed his paintings in the 1913 Armory Show, Alfred Stieglitz asked him to be part of the 1916 Forum Exhibition, and, as his reputation grew, his work was included in New York galleries and shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Tree and Landscape was created when he was living in Ridgefield, Connecticut, a town in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains—perhaps the mountains viewed behind the branches here. In works of this period, Sheeler departed from his trademark realist style to explore the more Cubist-influenced approaches last seen early in his career.

This work by Charles Sheeler shows a dead tree in front of a bright blue and green background.